How Weight Affects Your Joints

Our joints carry the full weight of our bodies throughout our daily activities. But is the burden really reflected in the amount of weight we read on the scale? Everyone hears about the long list of effects obesity has on your physiological health but very rarely do we hear about the effect excess weight has on our joints. Doctors have found that those who are overweight are significantly more at risk of developing arthritis at an early age as well as many other joint problems. Every bit of weight we lose or gain effects our skeletal structure and how well we move. This is most true of the joints in our core, legs, and feet.

Weight Affects Joints

More Force Than You Think

When we engage in certain movements and activities, parts of our body are forced to support not only our body weight but the force our muscles put into the movement as well. Biomechanical researchers have found that in the hip and knee, joint forces are about 1.5 times your actual body weight when you are walking on perfectly level ground. The hip and knee also happen to be the joints most commonly affected by arthritis. Furthermore, exercise enhances the amount of force on your joints as running or jogging can put as much as 3 times the weight on your joints. This means 15 pounds of excess weight can put up on 45 pounds of pressure. Over the years this pressure eats away at the cartilage as your bones just keep grinding down with more force than your joints are meant to handle. Walking up stairs is another strenuous activity on your hips and knees if you are overweight. Climbing stairs actually puts up to 7 times the excess weight on your lower body. A common misconception is that those that are obese use walking aids or motorized scooters in grocery stores are doing so just because they are lazy. A higher portion of these people actually have joint and osteoarthritis problems than people realize. Having weaker joints makes you options for exercise a lot more limited which in essence means the longer you go with excess weight on your body, the harder it will become to exercise.

Read: Foot Problems Related To Obesity

Losing Weight Can Help Instantly

The good news is the second you start losing weight, the cartilage in your joints that cushions the bones immediately starts to build back up. The results are all relative to your body weight but any loss of unnecessary weight goes a long way to decreasing your chances of developing osteoarthritis. For example, a 40 year-old man who weighs 180 pounds with 30% body fat can decrease his chances of developing osteoarthritis or other joint problems by 50% with a loss of 27 pounds. An excellent goal to shoot for is a healthy BMI or body mass index. BMI is a used to measure what exactly is a healthy weight for your height, age, and bone structure. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight and 30 or greater is considered obese.

Read: 5 Fat Burning Exercises For Slimmer You

It is Never Too Late

If your joints are already suffering from years of pressure from extra weight, start off with light, low impact exercises to lose weight. Swimming and stationary cycling are great as they put little pressure on your bones and for the most part allow you to dictate the your own pace. When it comes to losing weight the key when you start out is not quantity but consistency. Start out small by swimming for twenty minutes every day. As that regular exercise starts to become a daily habit for you, begin to increase the duration of your workouts.

The Small Things That Can Help

While losing weight is the best way to take pressure off of your joints there are other little things you can do to improve your joint health on the side. Flaxseed oil is great for lubricating your joints and strengthening your cartilage and comes in powder or pill form. Hydration and a healthy diet help tremendously as well. Try to eat one or two portions of fish a few days out of the week and make it a habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day. The important thing to remember is being healthy is a lifestyle and cannot occur overnight. Find healthy habits that you can easily fit into your daily life and stick with them. In the long run, your joints will thank you for it.

About Blog Owner

I am Atanu Majumdar, owner of the blog obesitytips4u.com. HowToReduceObesity covers articles on various obesity, Weight loss, Fitness, Diet topics. If you like This post, you can follow howtoreduceobesity on Twitter or On Facebook Or On Google PlusI am Atanu Majumdar, owner of the blog healthadvice4life.com. Healthadvice4life covers articles on various Health and wellness topics. If you like This post, you can follow healthadvice4life on Twitter or On Facebook Or On Google Plus

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