For OA patients who are overweight, losing the excess weight will reduce the pressure on one’s joints. Follow your doctor’s advice on how to shed that excess weight, safely.
Osteoarthritis (OA) typically occurs as a result of deterioration of the articular cartilage that covers the ends of bones in a joint and ensures smooth gliding movement of the bones, besides spreading the force applied to the joint. For instance, when a person takes a single step on a level ground, the force exerted across the weight-bearing joint, in this case, the knee, is estimated to be 1.5x the body weight; when walking up a slope, the force on the knee is approximately 2x-3x the body weight. The corresponding force acting on the knee joint in a crouching position will likely be 4x-5x the body weight. So, a 4-6-kilogram weight loss in obese people has the effect of lessening the force on the knee by 14-28 kilograms. The more the weight loss, the better it is, because the chances of damage to the articular cartilage are less, and in turn, the need arises for knee arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) or total knee replacement (arthroplasty) in later years. Shedding excess weight also helps improve the ability to walk and one’s gait.
Slow weight loss, besides being safer than fast weight loss, gives a person ample time to make corresponding lifestyle changes, such as switching to a healthier diet comprising of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. By contrast, faster weight loss, if done the wrong way, carries the risk of protein removal from muscles, leading to loss of muscle tissue, which is quite important for burning the calories consumed.
Here are some suggestions that can help you lose excess body weight slowly and safely, prior to which you should consult your doctor for advice:
This works out to 3,500 calories (@ 500 calories x 7 days), further translating into a weekly weight loss of approximately 0.90 kilograms. One can lose weight by consuming fewer calories as well as burning calories through regular exercise. Consult your doctor, to find out the best diet and exercise plan, for you.
Cut out sweets and sweetened drinks from the diet, replacing them with more natural foods such as beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, and seeds.
Set aside at least 30 minutes a day for one of these cardio exercises which suits your medical condition and comfort, i.e. walking, cycling, workouts on treadmills or stationary bicycles, swimming, playing tennis, or dancing. When your schedule is too packed, you can try 4 or 5 workouts each of 10 minutes’ duration, staggered throughout the day. Also, consider additional calorie-burning activities like washing the car, gardening and composting, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking to the local grocery instead of driving. Consult your doctor, to find out the best exercise regimen, that suits your lifestyle, medical condition and fitness levels.
Muscle-strengthening exercises, 2-3 times a week, using light dumbbells (1 - 1.2 kilograms for women and 2 - 4 kilograms for men) have been seen to help in increasing mobility and reduce pain in muscles and joints, depending on existing fitness levels. Take your doctor’s advice to plan out the best training and exercise routine, that’s most safe and suitable for you.
Many studies link sleep deprivations with weight gain. So, consider sleep as your top priority for overall well-being.
Consult your doctor and/ or dietician to finalize your personalized weight loss plans, for best results.
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