How does obesity affect your joints, specifically? (cont’d) Not only does obesity affect the overall weight on your joints, but new studies show that the excess fat causes inflammation, which contributes to overall pain, including knee arthritis. This low-grade inflammation may inhibit repair of articular cartilage, and has been shown to even double the risk of chronic pain in the elderly.
What will weight loss do for your joints?
By eating healthier and increasing your exercise levels, weight loss can decrease the additional weight on the hips and knees, but has also been shown to improve pain and function, and mobility in the joints. One study shows that overweight women who lost only 11 pounds reduced their risk of developing knee osteoarthritis by half. Not only will it help with your knee and hip pain, but this may improve your quality of life. This not only will help your joint pain, but can also lower cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, risk of heart disease, risk of stroke, help with your sugar metabolism,increase your mental well-being, and lower your risk of developing cancer. Getting Started!
We want to help you get started with your weight loss. Therefore, we would like to refer you back to your primary caredoctor for a more in-depth discussion of what activity levels will work best for you. A diet that is plant based and avoids processed/pre-packaged foods, including red meats will help your weight loss goal. Any additional activity is beneficial to your overall health and it is important to “start low and go slow,” but a goal of increased activity for 30 minutes or more daily will be beneficial. Most health benefits will be gained with at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. People at a healthy body weight, but are gradually gaining weight can gradually increase their activity level to a moderate-intensity aerobic activity of at least 300 minutes a week and/or reduce their calorie intake.
People who are trying to lose weight should do more activity, and gradually increase their minutes or intensity levels as they become more comfortable. An example of moderate activity includes brisk walking at roughly 3 miles per hour.
More benefits can be gained with increased activity. A combination of diet and regular aerobic and weight lifting exercises is important for your weight loss goal, and your long-term health. Weight lifting can help to strengthen the bones. We
understand that weight loss can be difficult, but we believe it will be very important for your joints, as well as for your
overall health. Your doctor may help you find the proper resources, but we have put together a list to help get you started. Please contact your insurance company, as many provide resources or discounts to aid in weight loss.
(Free) Smart Phone Apps:
MyFitnessPal – tracks calories and activity
Lose It! – tracks your meals, exercise, and nutrition
Fooducate – rates overall healthiness of food with the help of a barcode scanner
Locavore – helps you find local, seasonal produce
CSPI Chemical Cuisine – helps you make healthy decisions about the food you eat
Endomondo Sports Tracker – tracks distance-based sports
East This, Not That! The Game – helps you learn about healthier fast food choices
www.weightwatchers.com – provides support from group meetings to online tools
www.loseit.com – customized weight loss plan by tracking calories and providing support
www.webmd.com – provides resources to healthy living
www.livestrong.com – provides resources and online support for weight loss, calorie tracker, and exercises
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm – BMI calculator
http://www.priorityhealth.com/member/handbook/member-discounts/healthfit-west-mich – Priority Health discounts
http://www.bcbs.com/blue-365-healthy-deals/ – BlueCross BlueShield discounts
http://healthinfo.spectrumhealth.org/conditions/bariatric/tools/41,calorieburncalc – Calories burned with activity
Local resources in West Michigan:
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) – low cost peer-led program that encourages healthy lifestyle management
Holland Hospital Center for Good Health – offers 5 week fitness programs with a wellness coach, options
to meet with a dietician, or personal trainer.
Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital – Healthy Weighs to Live – programs to help aid in weight loss,
eating the right foods, and providing medical evaluations.
Medical Weight Loss Clinic – a personalized nutritional consult to help you meet your goals.
Curves – a fitness facility specifically designed for women to provide training and a weight loss program.
Surgical Weight Loss Team at Spectrum Health – Lakeshore Bariatrics
MVP Sports Plex – 10 week long weight loss challenge, nutrition sessions
Overeaters Anonymous – support group meetings to help you meet your goals
Check with your insurance company. They may offer discounts on equipment, gym memberships, classes, etc.