Hi guys, Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo, outside enjoying our gorgeous weather. I wanted to talk to you about joint pain. As we age, past out of our 20s, we start to feel things in joints we never experienced in our younger years. People think the aches and pains they are experiencing on a daily basis are just part of the aging process. They just have to deal with it. Sure, there are some joint discomforts that we have to manage, but a chronic, inflamed issue can often be reduced or dissolved all together*. If you have questions about today’s blog or would like to talk with one of our trainers about your creaks or weather predicting knee, give us a call: 806-322-3188. *I am not saying we can cure anything, but we can do is minimize your discomfort with food and exercise.
There is no end to the array of tonics out there. Beverages with ACV, honey, turmeric, etc. The results of these drinks vary across the board.
If you start to notice swelling, are lethargic, or feel like your body isn’t functioning correctly, that is a good sign that it this liquid isn’t jiving with your body chemistry and you need to abstain. If it is working for you that’s great. Everybody’s body is a little bit different in how they respond to different substances. Instead of focusing on the additives to our diet, we should look instead at what our diet consists of and start to remove some of those inflammatory foods. This will allow our body time to rest and reset before our next consumption.
Between the ages of 20 to 30 you are most likely to abuse your body with all sorts of cruddy nutrition that you come across. Namely the college year. A special time when you don’t know how to cook, money is tight, you’re spending late nights “studying” (aka cramming), so you just inhale whatever you can find. When you graduate into your thirties your body starts to respond saying “that food is great, but something is a little off”. By 40 the feeling increases. At 50 you are saying, “what did I do last week? I feel terrible!” Turns out that, that feeling isn’t from last week, it is the effects of the nutritional abuse from 10 or 15 years ago. Now we’ve touched on this topic before, but not in regard to joint inflammation.
Most of the joint pain that people experience is inflammation from poor eating. Our body houses toxins as inflammation, adding to it with each meal, and it begins spreads throughout the entire system. People can be carrying, on average, 5 to 15 pounds of inflammation in their body at any time. Primarily it is found concentrated in the intestinal area. People start feeling it in their joints: hands, knees, elbows, wrists, hips, etc.
To get rid of that discomfort you need to hydrate. Without enough water our bodies cannot process the toxins out. We need to increase our water consumption by drinking half of our body weight in ounces of water everyday. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs. you need at least 75 oz of water a day to help your body flush those toxins. If you’ve been watching us for a while you know that hydration is one of our priorities. Honestly, you have to have it in an adequate amount to process the toxins out and diminish the inflammation.
Second up would be minimizing or ideally eliminating processed sugar from your diet will reduce the pain and discomfort.
Additionally, you could have some sensitivity to a food (i.e. gluten, nuts, seafood, etc.) that you never realized until you did a detox diet. At Custom Fitness our clients are led through a great, food based, detox diet. They are not giving up calories or going on a liquid fast. They are eating real food and figuring out which foods help their body and which foods are incompatible. A detox diet consists of a regimented eating program where certain foods are restricted or completely removed during the program. The process of elimination for major allergens like dairy, soy, grains, and others allows your body to calm down (aka detox) and flush out the inflammation.
Gradually the food groups are added back in as you or your personal trainer see fit. From there you monitor your body’s response to foods. “How do I feel?” “How am I reacting to food X?” “What side effects am I noticing? Exhaustion, cravings, sweating, insomnia, constipation?” If you do notice any adverse reaction you can conclude that you have a sensitivity to that food and try to avoid it. That is hard. We all have our tantrums when we have to eradicate certain foods that we love. Personally, mine is dairy. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a severe dairy allergy. My only symptom was mild headaches throughout the day and I had never linked that to my cheese intake. Dairy was one of my favorite foods. If you are going through eliminating foods, know that I am struggling with the same thing.
When you are wanting to reduce your inflammation and joint pain, you also want to look out for nightshade foods. Those are things like peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, etc. These plants actually stimulate the inflammatory response. Try and avoid them for a while, then gradually add them back in. See how you feel and if you notice a difference.
That was the basic rundown of the correlation between diet and joint pain. Obviously, if you are a client we would sit down together and have a more indepth discussion about who you are, your goals, and more in order to customize a program specific to your wants and needs. I try to keep the blogs pretty vague, but if you’re looking for a plan tailored to what you want, give us a call.
People with joint pain often avoid exercise because it is uncomfortable. If you exercise appropriately, you will help your joints by increasing the fluids in there and help the lymphatic system process toxins out. If you are exercising too hard, it can worsen inflammation. Have you ever worked out and been sore two or three days afterwards? That is the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). You have lactic acid that sits on the muscles after a workout that become inflamed if you don’t move around enough to get it off.
You have to figure out the sweet spot of exercise. Not too easy, but not too hard. Too easy and you won’t accomplish your goal. Too hard and you’re going to make things worse. Have you ever tried to lose weight by just walking or yoga? They feel great, but you won’t see the physical changes you are hoping for because it is not the right intensity for your goals.
When you work out it doesn’t have to be painful. You don’t have to use machines or heavy weights. Using resistance bands instead of dumbbells will take the pressure off your joints. You have body weight exercises, you have resistance bands, but what about cardio? Walking is good, but it won’t transform your body. You need to increase your heart rate. Did your mind just flash to you running down the street, gasping for breath, trying not to cry from your joints screaming at you? Take a deep breath. I have 3 heart pumping exercises I want to share with you that have no impact on your joints.
Modified Frog Hop
Feet are more than hip-width apart at a 45 degree angle to the body. You reach down don’t hinge from your hips. Sitting forward causing your knees to push outward will be painful. Instead, sit back like you would as if you were sitting in a chair. You will feel it through the thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Try and reach for the ground. If you can’t make it that far, put a chair or a block at the height you can reach. Come back up on the tip of your toes, then do it again. Ideally you would move quickly while doing this (*cough* increase your heart rate *cough*), find your balance, but don’t actually jump in the air. The more muscles you can activate during cardio, the more you will speed up your heart rate.
Modified Heel Kick
Try and remember during a heel kick, to keep the pressure off your knees and hips, to keep your knee behind you. A lot of people will get tired and their knees will start pulling in front of them. Instead, you want to feel a stretch on your thighs when you pull your heels back. Again, you want to do this quickly. Maybe you feel okay to run a little, then you can add a hop into this.
Slow it down to get rid of the impact. Start off in a plank position with hands on the ground. Alternate driving one knee towards your chest and then the other. If your wrists are giving you problems, make fists and balance your weight on the knuckles. You can also go down to your forearms, or put your forearms onto a bench for an elevated mountain climber.
Do 30 seconds of each then do it all again. You know you love tri-sets. Try and do this set for a total of 3-4 times with little to no break in between. You’ll notice how it removes the impact. Remember to engage your core (like you would if you were coughing or sneezing) and give every exercise your full attention to make it a quality movement.
If you’d like more help on how to make your workouts better for you with the right intensity and moves or you’d like to diminish your joint pain with a made-for-you meal plan, give us a call 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at email@example.com. We would love to give you a complimentary consultation. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo. Have a great day!