Tag Archives: joint health

Exercise – An effective Rx for joint pain – Harvard

I don’t know how many times I have run across this kind of information, but it never ceases to amaze me – to a large extent – whatever the physical problem –  exercise is often the answer. Eat less; move more; live longer really works. Here is what Harvard has to say about exercise in relation to joint pain.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise.
OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity
Or Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week. That really isn’t very much when you break it down.

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I just love this cat doing chin ups.

Joint pain can rob you of life’s simple pleasures — you may no longer look forward to walking your dog, gardening, or chasing a tennis ball across the court. Even the basics of getting through your day, like getting into the car or carrying laundry to the basement, can become sharp reminders of your limitations.

But the right exercises performed properly can be a long-lasting way to subdue ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Although it might seem that exercise would aggravate aching joints, this is simply not the case. Exercise can actually help to relieve joint pain in multiple ways:

It increases the strength and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the joints. When thigh muscles are stronger, for example, they can help support the knee, thus relieving some of the pressure on that joint.

Exercise relieves stiffness, which itself can be painful. The body is made to move. When not exercised, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments quickly shorten and tense up. But exercise — and stretching afterward — can help reduce stiffness and preserve or extend your range of motion.

It boosts production of synovial fluid, the lubricant inside the joints. Synovial fluid helps to bring oxygen and nutrients into joints. Thus, exercise helps keep your joints “well-oiled.”

It increases production of natural compounds in the body that help tamp down pain. In other words, without exercise, you are more sensitive to every twinge. With it, you have a measure of natural pain protection.

It helps you keep your weight under control, which can help relieve pressure in weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles.

If all this isn’t enough, consider the following: exercise also enhances the production of natural chemicals in the brain that help boost your mood. You’ll feel happier — in addition to feeling better.

For more on developing and mastering an exercise plan to combat joint pain, order The Joint Pain Relief Workout, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Tony

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, how much exercise, joint pain

Green Ginger Grapefruit Smoothie – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.

She recently wrote an item Green Ginger Grapefruit Smoothie   that I thought would interest you.

red-grapefruit

 

I hate to be a downer, but I’ve got some bad news.  Grapefruits are tough to come by in the summer.  The prices go up and they’re not as plentiful.  I know, this likely ruined your Thursday.  I guess the only thing to do is eat ‘em up, while you can.

This week, we’ll review why grapefruits should be one of your go-to fruits and we’ll “wake it up” with a wonderfully refreshing grapefruit smoothie.  Grapefruits go above and beyond the nutrients of many foods, even other ones found in produce section.  Did I mention they can help you lose weight?  Bring on the grapefruits!

Recipe of the Week: Green Ginger Grapefruit Smoothie

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Greek yogurt or 1/2 scoop protein powder
1/2-1 pink grapefruit, peeled well
3/4 cup berries
1/4 avocado
1 cup spinach or other greens
1/2″ slice ginger
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup water ice, if desired for consistency

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Enjoy!

Nutrition information: Approximately: 385 calories, 44 gm carbs, 11 gm fiber, 15 gm protein.

Comments:

1) In the picture, this smoothie is obviously not green. I call it “green” because it includes a grapefruitsmoothie1-225x300whole cup of green. The berries’ color overtake the green. Either way, it’s not easy being green, and it’s all good stuff.

2) This is not Jamba Juice. If you want your smoothie to taste like Jamba Juice, you’ll have to go there and pay for a smoothie much higher in sugar and processed ingredients. If not, I think you’ll feel refreshed and satisfied having started your day with some ginger, greens, and grapefruit. I know I do!

Next, there’s lots of good reasons to eat grapefruits while you still can. On the list, is potential weight/fat loss. You’ve heard of the grapefruit diet, right? Eat grapefruits and lose weight. And of course, most cyclists wouldn’t mind losing fat and improving strength to weight ratio. But, is it science or quackery? Is there something magic to the grapefruit? Well, you can rest assured that I’m certainly NOT recommending you eat nothing but grapefruits. But, it may help to add them. Here’s some food for thought: Continue reading

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Filed under biking, diet food, Exercise, ginger, LDL Cholesterol, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Let Ginger Be Your Medicine – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.

She recently wrote an item Let Ginger Be Your Medicine which I thought would interest you.

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With an average 80 revolutions per minute on the bike, knee flexion and extension occurs about 4800 times an hour. That’s a lot of joint use. Perhaps joint overuse throughout an entire season. It’s estimated that 50% of cyclists experience knee joint pain as an overuse injury, in addition to other joint overuse pain in the back, hands, and shoulders.

As you head into the on-season, you can plan to protect your joints. In fact, you can do so with your foods.

This week, we’re heading into the kitchen to whip up a wonderful dip for vegetables, meats, sandwiches, and more. It’s loaded with foods that protect, heal, and reduce pain in joints.

ginger-health-benefits-uses

Recipe of the Week: Delicious Spicy Ginger Dip

Ingredients:
Avocado Mayo:
1 avocado
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp water

Ginger Dip:
1 Tbsp. liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 Tbsp. fresh ginger (finely chopped) or 2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 dash habanero garlic hot pepper sauce

Instructions:

First, mix all ingredients of avocado mayo until smooth in food processor (or by hand if okay with more coarse mix). Then, add in the remaining 5 ingredients to make ginger dip. Use as a dip/sauce on chicken, beef, seafoods, vegetables or kale chips.

***Ginger tip: If using fresh ginger, easily remove the skin of ginger by scraping it with the edge of a spoon.

Comments
To a cyclist, joints are supremely important. They are what make the pedals go round. And when they hurt, they put the ride to a halt fast. Revolution after revolution, you need healthy, happy joints. And, believe it or not, some foods are pro-healthy-joint. This week, we’re reviewing the benefits and research on ginger and joints.

First, ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (trust me, all good things!), and specifically it has benefits for joint pain and joint health. Additionally, studies in the last few years show that it’s effective in reducing muscle soreness in athletes. In fact, in one study, participants took either 2 grams ginger or placebo each day for several days before strenuous exercise, and the ginger participants had a 25% reduction in soreness indicators vs. those on placebo.

To use ginger to reduce soreness (along with rest days, l-glutamine, recovery snacks, hydration, and activities like foam rolling), aim to get 2 grams per day. You can choose 4 ginger pill supplements per day (check out the label, but most are 500 mg each), 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger each day, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Reduced muscle soreness is great, but what else do you get from ginger? You’ll get strong anti-inflammatory nutrients with (anti) inflammation score of +129, slightly better than garlic. Since inflammation plays a role with almost every chronic disease, oxidative stress, obesity, and fatigue, it is very beneficial to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in our diets as possible. Ginger also promotes gut health, may be anti-cancerous, is immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory.

Bonus: Find additional ginger recipes here.

Bonus: More joint health with dark cherry juice here.

You can keep your joints feeling great, and rotating smoothly this season. You can proactively nourish them. Let your food be your medicine.

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

Tony

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Filed under biking, diet food, Exercise, ginger