There are many chronic conditions or diseases that are affecting so many of us today and decreasing the quality of our lives. One of these conditions is arthritis, and it comes in many forms.
As we increase our health awareness, we start to understand that chronic disease is NOT an unavoidable part of life, and not something determined by aging or poor genetics. Every single condition is a direct result and consequence of our lifestyles, such as what we eat and how we manage our thoughts and emotions. With increased awareness, we also gain the understanding that the body always follows the mind. And thus, all disease is always a multifactorial process with regards to the problem and the solution.
Having said this though, it still does not change the fact that arthritis is a more common condition today than ever. In the US alone, it is estimated that it affects almost 50 million people. Even kids are suffering from arthritis, as it can manifest at any age.
It is definitely no fun to be part of these statistics, but relief is available. In this article I will share with you the basics of what is arthritis, tell you about a noteworthy campaign that is helping people improve their health naturally and I also have a valuable giveaway to share with you as well.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that stems from the group of auto immune diseases. Auto immune diseases are ones where the immune system becomes misdirected and starts to target that which it is supposed to protect. There are several theories of why this happens, but we will not be discussing them here at this time. The result of this, is that tissues are damaged.
Arthritis does not specifically refer to one specific state or condition, as it is believed that there are over 100 different types of arthritis, like rheumatoid, osteoarthritis and many other diseases that are not normally thought of as being associated with arthritis. The most common form of arthritis currently is osteoarthritis.
It is a degenerative condition where the joints, muscles or other soft tissues become damaged and pain results in the area. Limbs may also become disfigured and normal tasks and activities become difficult. It is not a life threatening condition per se, but it greatly reduces and limits a person’s quality of life.
Although mainstream medicine currently assumes that there is no cure for arthritis, there actually is a lot that can be done to prevent, halt and even reverse the condition.
Natural Ways to Help Arthritis
One of the best things that anyone with arthritis can do to help themselves is the very thing that is perhaps at times the hardest to do – and that is to move! Gentle movement and exercise is a great way to deal with arthritis pain and a way that can actually make the condition better, instead of worse.
The American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation have partnered to put together the “Fight Arthritis Pain” campaign. This campaign is designed to inform people about the risks of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis. It encourages everyone, especially those with arthritis to simply, “move” for better health. It’s called “Moving is the Best Medicine“.
The sad fact is that in North America, the majority of people do not get enough movement on a daily basis, or much high-quality exercise of any kind. We have become a very sedentary society. If you are familiar with the animated movie WALL-E, there is a scene where people live on a large spaceship deck, since they destroyed the Earth, and they move around using individual trollies in drone-like states, instead of using their own legs and bodies. All too many of us have lives that mimic this to a great degree; we mainly use cars to get around and are seated for most of the day.
We have always heard that movement and exercise is the healthy way to go, but the message is obviously not loud enough and not taken seriously enough, as the majority of people get below-average movement on a daily basis. Most people encounter much of their movement by the very small action of walking into and out of cars. However, this is not going to keep our bodies healthy or prevent and heal unfavorable health conditions. It is time for us to get honest about our health priorities and take our health into our own hands. When we become more accountable for our health, we automatically get to enjoy more health benefits and a higher quality of life.
On a practical level, I invite you to re-examine how you view simple, everyday things including house chores and cleaning. We don’t need the toughest cleaners that dissolve away dirt and prevent us from breaking a sweat. The more that you can incorporate movement of all kinds into your daily life, the better. So there is no need to fight for parking spots closest to the places we visit or avoid stairs, opting instead for the elevators and escalators. Instead of seeing walking your pet as an inconvenience, I invite you to embrace the wonderful, natural movement. Whether you walk, jog, bend, stretch, lift or otherwise, smart and balanced movement is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves and our health. Prevention today makes all the difference for great health tomorrow. What you do for your body today may make you feel better now, but above all, it is your investment into your body and health for the future.
Aside from movement, it has been shown by effective scientific research that what you eat will also greatly increase or decrease your risk and level of suffering from arthritis. Diets that are based on animal products and refined foods are highly acidic and one of the leading precursors to all sorts of systemic damage. On the other hand, diets that are based on real, whole, unrefined, and unprocessed food, and specifically plant food are the most healing and protective diets for us. In the following video, for example, leading nutrition researcher and medical doctor, Michael Greger, MD, shares the research that shows just how powerful a whole-food, plant-based diet is for healing rheumatoid arthritis.
Get Inspired and Get Moving
There are many ways to enjoy movement as part of your life and make it as fun, simple, and natural as works for your needs and preferences. Here are 5 simple ideas to get you moving:
- Take a daily walk.
- Opt for stairs whenever you have the choice.
- Do as much garden and outdoor work as you can, including planting flowers, cutting the grass, raking some leaves, etc.
- Instead of going to the movies or engaging in other sit-down entertainment, go out dancing or bowling instead.
- Check out your local community center for yoga, pilates, swimming, tai chi, or other fun classes that can suit your schedule.
And don’t forget, health is a whole-package deal, so while you are moving be sure to stay aware of how you are nourishing your body with the right food and rest.
To your best health!