Weight Loss with Knee Pain
Happy New Year! It that’s time of year again where people begin to feel the effects of a month-long indulgence and everyone spends time whipping themselves back into shape. Protecting joints can be essential to getting a good start to the year - to be more active, feel better and move better. Veganuary, Dry January and many many new year's resolutions are set!
How about Weight Loss?
There is a month of potential over-indulgence for your body to adjust to, dropping off the cliff edge onto the austerity of January. A few simple steps can have a big impact without feeling like you’ve just removed major food groups from of your eating habits.
It generally agreed - what we use to fuel the tank is what makes the biggest difference to weight loss goals - not all calories are made equal. This will be a relief to hear to all those suffering from joint and particularly knee pains, carrying a little extra weight who are struggling to know where to start with weight loss. Breath easy, you don’t have to spend your January committed to a never-ending treadmill!
10 calories of chocolate are processed by the body in a different way to 10 calories of almonds - this is an important thing to recognise for weight loss with joint pain. If your knees and ankles are hurting - increasing your movement and exercise may not be the first step for you. Dietary changes can be.
- Keep a food diary for a week and see if you can switch any items for things that boost your metabolism and hydration. That doesn’t cause a big fluctuation in insulin, therefore making it less likely for your body to ‘store’ any excess calories.
- Hydration is important - can you add 1 -2 glasses of water to your daily routine if you are not getting your 8 glasses a day? Try it for 3 days and notice the difference in your appetite, concentration, sleep, motivation and general flexibility.
In this digital world, we could all do with moving around more frequently. Literally just a bit of movement too. You don’t have to elevate your heart rate to have positive effects on your circulation. Gentle, frequent movement raises our base level of calorie burning (BMR - base metabolic rate - the calories we burn just from being alive). The more you move the more you are stimulating your system to use calories and raise it’s work rate - thrashing a session out in the gym for an hour does not take the place of gentle frequent movement.
For those with aches and pains, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you feel comfortable in the water, swimming pools are definitely top of the list for weight loss with joint pain. Whether walking, swimming or going to an aqua-fit class - you will find those aching joints can do more in water than you might usually manage on dry land.
Even smaller bursts of intense exercise may suit your joints better. Lifting some weights in a controlled environment for 20 minutes will do as much for your weight loss and running for twice that length of time.
Weight loss needs a combination of things to be a success and keep the weight off. Remember when you get started why you’re doing it otherwise you may find you want to give up part way through!