Poor posture doesn’t cause osteoarthritis, but it’s a contributing factor. Uneven stress on a joint can accelerate osteoarthritis, especially if there is a problem with the joint structure already, says Sandy B. Ganz, PT, an associate in research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
What can you do to prevent it from getting any worse? Walk it off, literally, but be conscious of your posture. Keep your upper body comfortably straight, not leaning forward or backward. Your head should be up, chin parallel to the ground, eyes on a spot about 20 feet ahead. Keep your hips and shoulders facing forward, and your shoulders loose and relaxed. Swingingyour arms is optional, just keep it loose and comfortable and don’t hold them too high. Step so that your heel hits the ground first, then roll through to your toe before the next step. Most importantly, have fun with it!
It turns out that your mother’s advice can be good for you. Sitting up straight in a chair leads to good posture which helps minimize stress on your muscles and joints. It tuns out this can prevent osteoarthritis or offer pain relief if you have the condition already.
Improving your posture eases the burden on your joints. Try sitting up straight, it’s never too late to start. Sit with your bottom square on the chair, your back against the back of the chair, and your shoulders facing forward. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor, your weight is even on your hips, and your knees are at a comfortable angle. If you place a rolled-up towel or pillow above your waist, it helps you sit up straighter, allowing your shoulders to gently roll backwards. Try this technique in the car too!
Helping someone with a chronic condition can be difficult. It may seem like nothing you do is helping. Remember that simple things like those below can make a huge difference, even if you don’t see the results immediately.
Just staying to listen can often be exactly what is needed and what is rarely offered.
As best you can, keep a positive, encouraging attitude. You don’t always need to find solutions. Being supportive offers as much relief as treatments.
Help with cooking and cleaning is always appreciated.
Point out small improvements that you see.
If needed, help keep track of upcoming appointments or provide transportation.
A report published online on April 27, 2011 in the Journal of Nutrition shows that drinking green tea reduces the harmful effects of sunshine such as reddening and dryness. There’s no substitute for a good sunblock, but if you need to drink more liquids when you’re in the sun, green tea is a good option.
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We know walking helps reduce stress, increases your lung and heart function, and aids in weight control. Now, a new study published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology says walking may also help some common effects of aging.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh who studied people in their mid-60s over 13 years found that those who walked about a mile a day had more gray matter and less memory loss than their peers. Gray matter is the part of the brain involved in muscle control, seeing, speaking, hearing and memory.
If you need a motivator to keep you walking, why not treat yourself to a massage whenever you reach a milestone.
American Psychological Association’s 2010 “Stress in America” survey shows that 75% of Americans experience chronic stress. Stress can be caused by too many demands and too little time to respond to those demands.
When you’re feeling stressed, your heart beats faster and your breathing increases. In the short term, this gives you extra energy to handle what is perceived as a threatening situation. If this goes on for any length of time, your body simply wears out. “Prolonged stress causes depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and causes people to eat poorly,” said Peterson. “All this compounds into an unhealthy lifestyle.”
“A little stress in our daily lives motivates us to accomplish our tasks — before the deadline at work, for example,” said C.J. Cangianelli, life coach. “Stress becomes problematic when our eating and sleeping patterns change, when we become unfocused and consumed with worry and anxiety. Listen to your body. It will tell you when your stress has reached unhealthy levels.”
De-stressing can be as simple as exercising regularly, getting outdoors for fresh air and sunshine, or spending more time with loved ones. Even looking at photographs of the people you love can cause a calming reaction in your body.
If you’re not sure how to reduce your stress, massage is a great way to learn how to relax.