Arthritis Linked to Obesity and Lack of Physical Activity

Arthritis Linked to Obesity and Lack of Physical ActivityA study released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that obese adults who also suffer from arthritis are 44% more likely to be physically inactive than other obese adults who do not have arthritis. Arthritis causes a stiffness and inflammation of the joints, making physical activity painful and regular exercises uncomfortable.

Regular exercise, however, is an important lifestyle change following weight loss surgery, and is crucial to ensuring successful long-term weight maintenance. Unfortunately, for the more than 35% of obese adults with arthritis, regular exercise is avoided due to the fear that it will cause added pain.

An active lifestyle is important for weight loss surgery to be successful. Many individuals with obesity and arthritis find themselves in a catch-22 situation: an active lifestyle will help them lose weight, which will in turn relieve their arthritis symptoms. But due to their arthritis, being active is too painful, and these individuals continue to struggle with their weight.

Weight loss surgery, such as lap-band surgery, is an important way to jump-start your weight loss goals. If you recently had weight loss surgery and also suffer from arthritis, there are several low-impact exercises that can help you stay active and help keep the weight off.

Low-impact activities like walking, biking and swimming are ideal ways to stay active. In fact, in addition to contributing to weight control, these exercises have also been shown to help reduce pain in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Regular exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, increases strength and expands your range of motion.

If walking and biking are initially too uncomfortable for you, start with an aquatic exercise program. Water increases your body’s buoyancy, reducing stress on muscles and joints, while providing greater resistance than air. You’ll get a great work out without the wear and tear on your joints, and in time will be able to build up your strength and endurance. Here in Atlanta, we enjoy easy access to pools, whether one is in your own backyard or just down the street at the local community center. Many community centers also offer aquatic exercise programs specifically tailored for adults with arthritis. Sign up for one today, and ensure your weight loss surgery is a success!