4 New Year’s resolutions for people with arthritis

Illustration of a woman walking.

Experts say that for low-impact exercises, like walking, cycling or using an elliptical machine are smart choices for persons with arthritis.

If you've vowed to make better lifestyle choices in 2018, why not prioritize arthritis management? There are plenty ways you can mitigate stiffness and aching associated with your joints, and the new year poses the perfect opportunity to ensure you're making smarter choices in regard to your overall health and well-being.

Here are four New Year's resolutions for those living with arthritis to consider:

Follow a balanced diet
While following a certain diet cannot cure arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation stated that there are a number of foods you can eat to fight inflammation, strengthen your bones and boost your immune system. Salmon, tuna, soy beans, olive oil, dairy products, broccoli and whole grains are loaded with vitamins, essential fatty acids and calcium that can aid bone growth, as well as reduce aching and pain in the joints. Add more of these foods to your diet to alleviate symptoms related to your arthritis.

Exercise regularly
Physical activity is a key component to overall health for anyone, but it's especially beneficial for those living with arthritis. While you may associate exercise with putting more stress on your joints, that's not always the case – you just need to know which fitness options you have that won't wear you down. Bashir Zikria, MD, an assistant professor of sports medicine at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, told the Arthritis Foundation that regular physical fitness while living with arthritis is smart, but just be mindful of what kind of exercise can impact your joints negatively.

"Exercise is good. But exercise intelligently," Zikria said. "Low-impact exercises, like walking, cycling or using an elliptical machine are smart choices. If you run, play basketball or do other high-impact activities, avoid hard surfaces and don't do it every day."

Range of motion exercises can help maintain the flexibility of your body, while walking and aquatic fitness takes the stress off of your joints while strengthening the heart, reducing your risk for fractures and toning your muscles.

Get enough rest
A good night's sleep is essential because it allows the brain to produce chemicals that help you deal with pain. Plus, resting your body adequately every night ensures you're ready to take on the next day. To reduce fatigue, create a sleep environment that sets your rest up for success. Invest in room-darkening curtains, remove all distractions from the space and sleep with enough blankets to keep you warm and cozy at night.

Start using products for arthritis relief
If you experienced debilitating pain last year, make a difference in 2018 by investing in products that provide relief. The IMAK® Compression Arthritis Gloves, Elbow Sleeve, Socks and Wrist Sleeve are all designed to help reduce swelling, improve circulation and provide warmth to the areas of your body impacted by arthritis. IMAK® Compression products may help provide natural relief from aching, swelling and stress to live your happiest, fullest life this year and beyond.