Why Should We Bother to Exercise?

Exercise and Arthritis


Wherever our bones meet, there is also cartilage, a rubbery, protective layer that ensures your joints bend smoothly and painlessly. But even cartilage cannot do this tremendous job alone. A thin membrane called the “synovium” provides fluid that lubricates the moving parts of the joint. When the cartilage wears out of the synovium becomes inflamed, the result is generally a case of “osteoarthritis” or “rheumatoid arthritis.”

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage can be eroded so much that bone does rub on bone. Those type of arthritis develops gradually over a lifetime as a simple result of the wear and tear placed on your joints over the years. Very few people escape some degree of osteoarthritis, though the severity varies a great deal.

As a matter of fact, if you are over the age of 50, you are likely to have at least one joint affected by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects men and women equally and is by far the most common type of arthritis, with almost 16 million Americans in the list.

In rheumatoid arthritis, damage to the synovium is at the source of trouble. Doctors and researchers are not absolutely sure what causes it, but most think that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system actually attacks certain tissues in the body, including those that connect the joints and the synovium.

Rheumatoid arthritis begins with swollen, red, stiff, and painful joints, but it may progress until scar tissue forms in the joint or, in extreme cases, until the bones actually fuse together. Almost 75% of the 2 million people with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States are women. The disease can hit as early as teen years.

Exercising Your Prevention Options

Investing a little time in developing a good weight-bearing low-impact exercise and stretching plan can add up to great results when it comes to staving off arthritis pain. Strong muscles help protect the joints from wear and tear, and the movement keeps joints flexible.

That is why the quest for fitness is at hand, even if you are 50 years and over. However, most Americans over 50 are still right where they always were sitting back and watching others jog by. Most of them contend that that is just for people who have been athletic all their life, or some say exercise is for young people and engaging into exercise will do them more harm than good.

There are still some that insist on excusing their selves in exercise routines because they do not just have time or they have less energy than ever before. These are all lame excuses. Hence, it is time to start to get rid of those pains. Start exercising.

Consequently, preventing arthritis is not an exact science, but physicians have discovered a few ways to lower your risk. Here is how:

1. Do not weight around

The single most important measure anyone can take to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee is to lose weight if they are overweight. Extra weight puts extra stress on your knees. If you are 10 pounds overweight, for example, you put 60 pounds per square inch of extra pressure on your knees every time you take a step. That extra pressure can slowly but surely erode the cartilage in your knees, leading to arthritis.

A study has clearly supported the theory that weight loss weighs in on the side of prevention. In the study, overweight women who lost 11 pounds or more over a 10-year period decreased their risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

2. Stretch those muscles

Any kind of stretching is good as long as you do not bounce, which can lead to a muscle pull. This is according to some of the professors of clinical medicine in New York City.Try to hold a slow, steady stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, then relax and repeat. It is best to flex up by stretching before any exercise, especially running and walking. But it is also a good idea to stretch each day. Ask your doctor to teach you stretches that focus on potential arthritis trouble spots, such as the knees or the lower back.

 3. Walking is always the best exercise

Take a good long walk at least three times a week or participate in a step-aerobics or low-impact exercise routine maximum results. There is no proof that running is bad for the joints, but remember, it may aggravate an injury if you already have one. Just remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

The bottom line is that of all the healthful habits, exercise is the most important. This is because people are designed to be active. Hence, it is really important for people to exercise in order to stay healthy and keep those joints free from wear and tear.

Just keep in mind that the un-exercised body, even if free from the symptoms of illness or problems like arthritis, is not at its full potential. Hence, start exercising right now!

Good Value or Just Greedy?

Industry Fat Cats

Even through the recent global recession there has been an industry that since 2009 has had an annual growth rate of 10.9% and looks to grow even faster in the future, and this is not an industry built on success as you would think, no this is an industry built on failure. You are probably wondering how can an industry be built on failure, and still have such a healthy growth rate, well it’s easy when you realize it’s the Diet and Weight-loss Industry. It is expected that by 2014 the annual Global Market for Weight Loss will be worth US$586.3 Billion, that’s not a miss-print US$586.3 Billion. This industry has a magic number that helps to generate their expansion, and that number is 95. The magic number is a percentage number, 95% of people who diet and lose weight, will put the weight back on, and often get even heavier than before, then go on a diet again. This weight loss then gain, is know as yo-yoing, and the industry counts on it. With any market that is this valuable you are always going to find some borderline unscrupulous practices. One of the most popular are the free trials where you just have to pay a small charge for the post and packaging on your debit or credit card. WARNING if you come across one of these offers, it will usually be for two different types of tablets, for some super weight loss system as used by the celebrities. You MUST find and check out the TERMS AND CONDITIONS, it will usually be at the bottom of the page where you order the sample, in small print. You will normally find that unless you cancel your free trial within fourteen days from the ordering date, you will be charged the full amount for each sample, which can be as high as US$150+, so much for the free trial.

The reason that the diet industry is worth so much money is because, most people want a quick fix to their excess weight problems, and are happy to pay for it. Diets seem to change as fast as the seasons, what is the diet to be on in the winter, has almost drifted into oblivion by the spring, when the next best diet to be on has surfaced. Interspersed with the various diets are the must have fat melting pills, which will strip away all your unwanted weight in the next month. Some dieter’s are still looking for that magic button, which will melt away all the excess fat overnight, with no personal effort. If that even was possible, it might work if you only needed to lose a few pounds, if you need to lose a few stones, you have to lose it gradually to allow your surplus skin time to shrink.

There are no magic buttons, pills, or potions, required for you to lose weight, I will say that again, you don’t need any magic, pills, or potions, for you to lose weight. Do you want some more good news, you don’t need to spend any money on diet systems, not a penny. What you do need is a healthy well balanced meal plan, and your excess weight will start to melt away, but it won’t happen overnight. The US and UK governments, spend a lot of time and money, to provide us with free information to keep us fit and healthy, and that includes eating plans to cover every situation. I had been doing research for another article, when I found how good celery is for us, but I couldn’t eat it without gagging, until I came across a recipe for celery soup, on a UK NHS site, now it’s one of my favourite soups. Healthy eating does not need to be boring, you just need to find a plan that suits you, and I have included a selection of FREE UK and US sites, to help you do just that.

UK Sites




US Sites




Weight Loss Foods That Can Help to Shed Those Excess Pounds


Today’s Lifestyle and our Diet

It doesn’t make any difference if you arrived here because you have decided to make 2014 the year to take control of your weight, or you over indulged during the festive period and just need to get back on track, you’re in the right place. In many parts of the Western World obesity has now almost reached epidemic proportions, but many dietary experts believe that the large numbers of people becoming seriously overweight is directly linked to the ever growing number of convenience fast-food outlets. Dietary experts are now telling us that it’s not just how much we eat, but as much the types of food we are eating, and also our eating patterns, which are causing many of us to gain considerable amounts of unwanted weight. I believe many of the problems stem from the modern fast pace of life, where many of us want everything now, hence the success of the fast-food chains. Another change that has come about, mainly due to the way of life, is how we approach breakfast, as this is the most important meal, as it dictates our energy levels and sets us up for the day. We used to have a well balanced sit down breakfast. In summer it could be cereal, and maybe a boiled egg and toast, with a cup of tea or coffee, and in winter it could be porridge, a nice slow energy releaser. For many these days breakfast has become something we grab on the run, or replace with a cup of coffee, and even worse in some cases missed out altogether. There seems to be a misconception that if we partially starve ourselves by missing out meals it will help us lose weight at an accelerated rate. In reality the complete opposite is true, it sends a signal for our bodies to store more fat. The only way to lose weight and then keep it off is with a properly planned well balanced diet.

Food and Effect,

It is important that we get to know what foods are going to aid us in our weight-loss. The problem is there is no single food that can reduce weight, but when used in the right combination it can make a big difference. As we continue you will see why it is important to have a proper diet plan, to make sure we are getting all the right foods in the proper proportions, and to make sure we are keeping away from anything with high sugar, salt and saturated fats. What we are looking for is a balance, between the amount of energy we take on board in the form of food, and the amount of energy we burn in our daily life, to lose weight our input needs to be less that our output. When we eat the right foods our bodies work properly, we have more energy, we are able to concentrate better, we have better moods, and we can shed those unwanted pounds, but when we eat the wrong foods its like our bodies are full of sludge, we have no energy, and can become moody. So lets take a look at what we need.

Fibre; We need fibre for our digestive system to work properly, but it also has many health benefits, and when we are trying to lose weight it helps to fill us up. Eating plenty of fibre rich foods will help prevent conditions like, constipation, haemorrhoids, and can even help in the prevention of bowl cancer. If you have not had a lot of fibre in your diet it is important that you introduce it gradually so as to prevent any side effects like, excessive wind and bloating. There are recommended  daily amounts of fibre which are women 25 grams, and for men 35 – 40 grams if you go above these recommendations you must increase your daily intake of water, which should be around 2 litres per day. I am going to list the top ten sources of fibre, but there is not the scope in this article to go into detail about each one of them. If you want more information about how fibre and particular fruits and vegetables work in our diet, I suggest you Google (Dietary Fibre) and you will find all the information you could possibly require.

The top ten high fibre foods,

#1 Corn Bran, but Wheat Bran and Rice Bran are just as high, there is also Oat Bran but it is no so high.

#2 Cauliflowers and Broccoli, Broccoli is a super vegetable and should be included in every diet, ideally every day.

 #3 Cabbages, raw Savoy Cabbage is the best but all cabbage is very good.

#4 Berries, Raspberries are the best followed by Elderberries, Blackberries, Gooseberries, Cranberries, and finally Strawberries.

#5 Leafy Salad Greens, Cos and Romaine Lettuce, also Spinach is very good.

#6 Celery, not only is Celery a good source of fibre but it is also a great dieting vegetable, because it is almost zero calorie rated.

#7 Squash – Butternut, winter and summer all varieties, if you need any tips on how to prepare and cook it try: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/11/08/how-to-cook-squash/

#8 Beans, Kidney beans are the best followed by Navy beans also known as Haricot beans, French beans, Pinto beans, black beans and Chick Peas, are all good.

#9 Mushrooms, cooked White closed cup mushrooms.

#10 Oranges and that covers all of the various varieties. There we have it the top ten best sources for our dietary fibre, but we have only scratched the surface, there is so much more information than we could ever try to cover in this type of article, you just have to look on line if you are interested.


Vitamin B; It’s like a driving force, it breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is our bodies energy provider, it also breaks down fats and proteins, which is essential for a normal functioning and healthy nervous system. Although it is possible to cover our vitamin B needs with a B Complex Vitamin, most doctors and nutritionists agree that the best way to get our daily B vitamins is naturally, through the foods we eat. Now you might be wondering “why do I need to know all this, I only want to lose some weight?”. But if you know how something works, and in this case the way our bodies use the food we eat, then its easier to understand why we need certain foods to stay fit and healthy, and able to lose weight. Vitamin B has actually eight types, B1 Thiamine, B2 Riboflavin, B3 Niacin, B5 Pantothenic Acid, B6 Pyridoxine, B12 Cyanocobalanmi, Folic Acid, and Biotin. Let’s take each one in turn and see how much we need and how we acquire it.

B1 Thiamine; Thiamine is important with several functions, including, working with other B-group vitamins to help break down and release energy from food, and keeping our nerves and muscle tissue healthy. Thiamine is found in many foods, but the best sources are, vegetables, peas, fresh fruit and dried fruits, eggs, wholegrain bread, fortified breakfast serials and liver. There are recommended daily amounts, which are 1mg for men and 0.8mg for women, but the body cannot store thiamine so we need a daily supply through a well balanced diet.

B2 Riboflavin, Riboflavin’s main functions are keeping our skin, eyes, and nervous system healthy, plus it helps the body extract energy from carbohydrates. The best sources of riboflavin are, milk, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals and rice. A problem with riboflavin is it can be destroyed by UV, therefore foods containing riboflavin must be kept out of direct sunlight. The daily amount our bodies need is 1.3mg for men and 1.1mg for women, but as we cannot store it we need to get our daily supply from a balanced diet.

B3 Niacin, Niacin comes in two forms nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, and both of these are found in food, they help to produce energy from what we eat, and work towards keeping our nervous and digestive systems healthy. The best sources are, meat, fish, wheat floor, eggs, milk and maize. We need 17mg per day for men and 13mg for women, again our bodies cannot store niacin so we have to get it daily through our diet. One point worth noting, if you are on a proper well balanced diet including the foods listed above, you don’t want to be taking nicotinic acid supplements, as high doses can cause skin flushes, and high doses over an extended period can even lead to liver damage.

B5 Pantothenic Acid, Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin, it’s an antioxidant, and is very important in the breaking-down of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and used in the production of several enzymes, and also helps our nervous system communicate with the brain. This is a multi role vitamin essential for the running of our bodies so preventing any deficiency is extremely important. Small amounts of pantothenic acid are found in nearly every food but large amounts are found in wholegrain cereals, brown rice, chicken, beef, kidney, potatoes, porridge, eggs, broccoli, avocado, tomatoes, and yogurt. With the range of foods containing pantothenic acid it is easy to get your daily supply with a reasonable diet without needing any supplement.

B6 Pyridoxine, Pyridoxine allows the body to store and use energy extracted from protein and carbohydrates, it also helps form haemoglobin which carries oxygen around our bodies. Pyridoxine is found in many foods, the best of these are, pork, turkey, chicken, fish, bread, whole cereals, eggs, vegetables, milk, soya beans, peanuts, and fortified breakfast cereals. Pyridoxine is an essential vitamin and we need 1.4mg per day for men and 1.2mg for women, as it can’t be stored in the body we need our daily supply from our diet, but with the large number of foods carrying this vitamin it should be easy with a healthy planned diet to get enough, without having to resort to any supplements.

B12 Cyanocobalanmi, Cyanocobalanmi is another of the multi roll vitamins and one of the most important, as it is responsible for the production of red blood cells, helping to keep our nervous system healthy, releasing energy from food, and also processing folic acid. Good sources of vitamin B12 are, meat, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs, and some of the fortified breakfast cereals. Men and women only need about 0.0015mg per day, and with a proper diet including some dairy and meat or fish it should be easy to get our daily amount. That said, according to an article by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2, approximately 6% of people aged 60+ years are vitamin B12 deficient in the United Kingdom and the United States, the common symptoms are, tiredness, lethargy, feeling faint, breathlessness, the less common effects are headaches, palpitations, loss of appetite, tinnitus, and you can also look rather pale.

Folic acid, This is another of the B group vitamins, which works with B12 to form red blood cells, and helps to reduce defects in the central nervous system. Folic acid is found in many foods in small amounts, but good sources include, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, liver, spinach, asparagus, peas, chickpeas, brown rice, and fortified breakfast cereals. Adults require 0.2mg of folic acid per day, as it can’t be stored you need to acquire it from your varied and balanced daily diet.

Biotin, Biotin is another water soluble B group vitamin, which is essential in the formation of fatty acids and glucose. The best sources are, Swiss chard, which is also a very healthy salad choice and provides antioxidants, carrots, almonds, walnuts and most other nuts, eggs, milk cows and goats, raspberries, strawberries, halibut, vegetables, mainly onions, cauliflower, and cucumbers, which are all very healthy options to include in our daily diet. That is the eight group B vitamins, what they do, and what foods we need to get them from, and by now you must be able to see why it is so important that we have a proper well balanced diet including all the food groups, to enable us to stay fit and healthy.

Snacking and weight loss,

When we normally think of a snack, it’s a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit or a cake or bun, but if you want to lose weight you need to re-think it. You need to be drinking water and at least two litres per day, and a glass before any snack or meal will help reduce your calorie intake and speed your weight loss. The best snack would be celery, as I mentioned earlier it is almost zero calorie rated. On its own it is very bland, but with a low fat dip it becomes more attractive. A vegetable salad or fresh fruit are good to snack on, plus low fat yogurt and cereals without sugar, are also healthy options,  One thing you have to watch out for when shopping, just because something says low fat it does not automatically make it healthy, you must check the label for its contents. There are also many food supplements on the market, which work on the principal of thermogenics which makes the body metabolism run faster so as to burn fat faster and more effectively. Such supplements include ephedra, green tea extract, caffeine, guarana and synephrine which stimulate the breakdown of fat cells in the body. There are also some appetite suppressants namely plantago psyllium which gives a feeling of fullness and stops the intake of food, also hoodia which is derived from a prickly plant from South Africa and makes the brain think that the stomach is full, it removes the desire to eat and drink. Whichever way you look at it, nothing beats a proper balanced diet, that covers all the food groups we need to stay healthy, and having read this article to here, you now know how important the right foods are. Another important part to the weight-loss puzzle is EXERCISE, even if its only walking, get out there and get yourself moving. If you want some good information on your healthy diet plan I recommend checking out these sites.