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Relieving Joint Pain

Relieving Joint Pain

The health benefits of regular exercise are undeniable, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of exercise at least five times per week. However, high-impact exercises like running and weight training can lead to joint pain, especially if you have a joint condition. The good news is that smart exercises with low impact can alleviate joint pain and deliver the same health benefits.

Here are a few tips to consider:

Keep Moving

Trying to protect your joints by not moving actually does more harm than good. Regular exercise can actually help joint pain and ease symptoms of chronic joint conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about your exercise plan before you get started.

Go Low Impact

You don’t need to put tremendous weight on your joints or jump up and down in order to break a sweat or elevate your heartrate. When you’re already in pain, this type of exercise can actually make things worse. Instead, opt for high-quality, low-impact workouts.

There are now exercise machines available for home use that provide the same quality low-impact workout you’d get in physical therapy. Consider the Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer, a seated exercise machine that takes the weight off the joints while torching calories.

Unlike other recumbent machines which can be bad for the knees, the FreeStep mimics a natural stepping motion that prevents knees from traveling over the toes, as well as stabilizes the back and hips. And you don’t have to sacrifice workout quality ” in fact, research shows that FreeStep users burn 17.4 percent more calories than when using a recumbent bike at the same level of effort. Beyond calorie burn, it also offers full-body resistance training, which is especially important, as weak muscles can be a root cause of pain.

Hydrate

It may seem obvious, but ensuring that you drink the recommended daily intake of water is vital to reducing pain in your joints.

Proper hydration helps your body eliminate wastes and toxins that can lead to painful joint conditions. Plus, it helps to keep the joints lubricated and flexible, reducing friction and inflammation and helping to maintain healthy tissue.

Stretch Daily

Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion, improves movement and function, reduces pain and stiffness and prevents further injury. Just remember to move slowly and keep it gentle.

At the very least, spend a good five to 10 minutes in the morning stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and hip flexors.

For a free photo guide to “5 Daily Stretches to Relieve Knee & Joint Pain,” visit teeter.com/freestep-guide.

With the right exercises and maintenance program, you can improve your health and get a stronger body, without pain.  (StatePoint)

Recognizing and taking steps to address the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias can be extremely challenging — especially in the early stages. It’s easy and common to dismiss cognitive changes in oneself or a family member as “normal aging.”

“Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging,” says Dr. Keith Fargo, director, scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association. “With normal aging, you may forget where you parked your car — that happens to all of us. But if you get in your car and get lost coming home — that’s not normal.”

Alzheimer’s is a fatal progressive disease that attacks the brain, killing nerve cells and tissue, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, plan and ultimately function. Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, that number is projected to skyrocket to nearly 14 million.

To help families identify signs early on, the Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 Warning Signs and Symptoms, a list of some common signs that can be early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias:

1. Disruptive memory loss. Forgetting recently learned information, asking the same questions over and over and increasingly relying on memory aids.

2. Challenges in solving problems. Changes in one’s ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, such as having trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Difficulty completing daily tasks, such as organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

4. Confusion with time or place. Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Vision problems, which may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. Trouble following or joining a conversation or a struggle with vocabulary. For example, calling a “watch” a “hand-clock.”

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Putting things in unusual places and being unable to go back over one’s steps to find them again.

8. Decreased or poor judgment. Changes in judgment or decision-making when dealing with such matters as money and grooming.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. Changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation can result in a withdrawal from hobbies or social activities.

10. Changes in mood and personality. Mood and personality changes, such as confusion, suspicion, depression, fearfulness and anxiety.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and to find resources, visit alz.org, the website of the Alzheimer’s Association or call its 24/7, free Helpline at 800.272.3900.

It’s important to note that exhibiting one or more of these 10 warning signs does not mean someone has Alzheimer’s. In fact, these signs may signal other — even treatable — conditions. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor to understand what is driving cognitive changes so you can better manage the condition — whatever the diagnosis.


PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Alzheimer’s Association

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