Working Out With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is when articular cartilage, the cartilage that covers the bone at a joint and acts like a cushion Osteoarthritis-of-Knee-Jointand helps it glide through movement, wears down and/or is damaged, it leaves the joint with bone grinding against bone. This can cause pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. This is osteoarthritis. There are many of us that will experience osteoarthritis as we get older. It is a degenerative condition that can be caused or made worse by aging, injury, or pressure from excess body weight. Needless to say, when our joints hurt, we move less. That used to be the recommendation from the medical community as well. If it hurts to do something, then don’t do it. Unfortunately, that’s not what current research shows. The less we move the joint, the weaker the surrounding muscles become and, the weaker they become, the more stress is on the joint. This ongoing stress only makes the pain and discomfort worse.


In general, we all know that we should be exercising. You should be exercising your whole body in general, and particularly the effect joint(s). The current guideline is to gradually build your strength routine until you are working the effected joint(s) as hard as you can tolerate, through as great a range of motion as you can tolerate. This helps maximize the strength gains and maintain your joint flexibility.

Another benefit to exercising with osteoarthritis is that exercise helps to control weight. Excess body weight adds pressure to the joints and can create and/or accelerate joint damage.

Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when your joints are stiff and achy. But it’s crucial for easing pain and staying active.Harvard Health Publications. Osteoarthritis doesn’t need to be a sentence to an inactive lifestyle. Find guidance from a health and fitness professional who can create a gradually progressive program that is appropriate for your individual needs, and you can lessen the pain and discomfort that osteoarthritis causes you.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

One of the most common reasons for delaying the start of an exercise program is the perception of not having enough time. I say perception because, in reality, we could all have the time.

I know that at least some of you reacted to that statement with a, no time ?

“NO, really, I don’t!” Maybe that is true for a very few, but let’s look at how we could, if we really wanted to, carve out the time to fit in some exercise.

Let’s start with how much time we need to find. Workouts don’t need to take hours each day. I’ve put together 15 minute workouts for some of my clients that can be quite effective. The Tabata protocol is effective and its only 4 minutes long (and who can’t fit in 4 minutes). So, fitting in your workout becomes more about what time can you dedicate to a workout and then choosing the most “bang for your buck” exercises to perform in that time.

Here are a few ways to find or make the time you need.

Get up earlier – Let’s face it, if you get up a little bit earlier, you can fit some exercise in. Initially it may not be easy to roll out of bed sooner than you normally do, but it can quickly become a habit.

Chunk it up – You can break up your workout into smaller segments. Do a few minutes here, a few minutes there.

Schedule an appointment – You know that if you needed to set a meeting with your boss or one of your employees, you would find the time, book it, and stick to it. So, with the same commitment, book an appointment with yourself for exercise and stick to it.

Exercise before dinner – For most people, once you eat dinner and get into that relaxed mode, exercise just isn’t going to happen. Commit to doing some kind of exercise before you sit down to eat.

Obviously, these are just a few of the possibilities, but, hopefully they give you some ideas about how you can find/make the time to fit exercise in. After all, isn’t taking care of yourself worth a little schedule manipulation?

In Search of… Perfection?

I recently read two things that prompted this post. The first was a New York Times article about Chantal Bacon, a “lifestyle guru” who produces and sells some very expensive, supposed wellness enhancing, products. The second thing I read was the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson.

Wellness guru

So, what is it that drives us to spend outrageous amounts of money on products that promise to make us…what? Become one of the beautiful people? What are we really seeking? The problem, according to Manson, is that we set our reference points at unrealistic levels. Then, we constantly compare ourselves to those levels and end up unhappy about our looks, our bodies, our lives.

graybeardI’m slowly but surely losing my hair. I have a few more wrinkles every year. I have a few more aches and pains as time passes. I’m not thrilled by any of these changes. I could obsess about them. I could take every product known to counteract them, but I know I will never be as good looking or even have the hair of George Clooney. Well, George Clooney should not be who I benchmark myself against, and yet, the media and businesses trying to sell us products hold those unrealistic icons up to us and try to convince us that this is perfection and we should be trying to achieve this too.

The real take away note for us is that perfection is unattainable and the more we measure ourselves against perfection, the more unhappy we will be with where we are. Don’t let others tell you what or who you should be. There’s a saying, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of good.” Our search should be for a better us. Celebrate the successes and enjoy the journey of improvement. Learn, love, live life and be happy.