Steff Davies, Nirvana Spa’s Senior Wellness Coach, explores three ways to help you keep your joints fit, mobile and protected for the future.
Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a common condition of stiff, swollen or painful joints, which develops as we get older. The good news is there are exercises, stretches and foods which can help.
Exercises for stiff joints
According to Arthritis Research UK, it’s very important to keep your joints moving, even if they feel stiff. Their advice is “if you don’t use it, you may lose it”. Equally damaging is over-use or misuse of your body, which will age your joints more quickly. Steff recommends regular and gentle exercise, like swimming, as the ideal way to keep everything moving, but protected from strains.
The hands often show the earliest signs of stiffness. Steff treats many people with arthritis, she says that keeping joints mobile is like “keeping the car well oiled”. It keeps the circulation moving around the joints, which prevents joint swelling and promotes endorphins to relieve pain. Steff’s video shows you how to protect your hands with her tried and tested exercises and stretches.
Foods to fight joint inflammation
Certain foods have been shown to fight swollen joints, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. There is a mountain of data and research on the subject but to keep things simple, we recommend a well-balanced Mediterranean diet.
Increase your intake of:
- fruit and vegetables
- whole grains
- nuts and seeds
- oily fish
- broccoli and green peppers
Reduce your intake of:
- processed foods
- foods cooked at high temperatures
- sugars and refined carbohydrates
- alcohol and tobacco