Research shows that losing even a little weight can make a big difference in reducing joint pain.
For those with joint pain, often caused by ligament or cartilage damage, walking and most type of exercises exacerbate the pain; knees take the brunt of our body weight’s force as we walk, run, or jump during an activity. Just 10 extra pounds of weight increases the force on the knee by 30 to 60 pounds each step.
Conversely, if we lose weight, we can reduce the amount of stress on our knees, which can reduce joint pain and lessen the risk of developing arthritis. But how can you lose weight if the exercises that are designed to help – e.g. walking and running – actually hurt to do?
The following are a few pointers that may help joint pain sufferers lose weight:
• Simplify your goals. Don’t try to lose a bunch of weight all at once. Instead, set short-term goals to shed weight a few pounds at a time.
• Try less painful exercises. If walking and weightlifting cause too much pain, try exercises that require less impact, such as swimming, water aerobics, and cycling.
• Maintain a healthy diet. An exercise program combined with a healthy diet will give you the best chance to lose weight.