Take a Walk, Cure Arthritis
Arthritis pain can be so bad that a walk to the bathroom can seem like struggling through a bed of nails – if only the nails were being hammered into your knees and back!
Your body tells you to “sit down and rest” between every step. But that’s some horrible advice, no matter how well meaning it may be.
Many doctors predict that technological advances like cutting edge medications and futuristic machines will someday emerge as the “cure” for it. Unfortunately, no amount of money or science is going to take care of this pesky $120 billion dollar problem out nation struggles with.
After all, we already have prevention and a cure. Best of all, it doesn’t require a single dollar, a prescription, or even a doctor’s appointment.
What’s this amazing treatment that has scientists jumping up and down in excitement? Walking!
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health recently looked at a group of people with knee osteoarthritis who weren’t yet in serious pain. Those that did light exercise for just 20 minutes per day completely put the brakes on arthritis.
What if you already have it? Walking can change your life too.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a walking program reduced arthritis-pain by nearly one third. That blows away the results from medications that tend to modestly improve pain levels by 10 percent or less.
It can make walking an uphill battle. Fortunately, you don’t have to walk to China and back to see a very big difference.
Here’s how to do it:
Start S-L-O-W: The transition from couch potato to power walker is a dramatic one. Your walking program should be like a beat up 67’ Chevy: start slowly, gradually increasing the speed, and go strong after a thorough warm up.
Record, Rinse, Repeat: Just “going for a walk” may work for some, but your enthusiasm will quickly sputter out. Setting goals and benchmarks will keep you on track and make sure you stick to this life-altering change.
Don’t Be Afraid: To breathe, sweat and struggle. As long as you can pass the “talk test” (being able to carry on a conversation while exercising), you’re at the right intensity level.
Expect Miracles… Eventually: There’s no question that daily light exercise turns its tables. But it’s going to take more than a few laps around the track to feel a difference. Stick with it and the results will come.
Walking works. But for those with painful or stubborn arthritis, it’s not nearly enough.
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