Indulgence is always wonderful.
For those with arthritis it often carries a cost.
One of the major contributors to inflammation is sugar. Wow – horrible thought. What desserts, cookies, and other holiday foods don’t have sugar? I know that in the holiday season, I have far more sugar, butter, and eggs around than at any other time of the year.
It’s fun and delightful to indulge. Now, your body is probably telling you it’s time to get back to a healthy regime. It’s time to be kind to yourself by making better choices and staying on track to a healthier and more limber life.
If you’re like many people – it’s difficult to get on track again. Your body takes longer to flush the toxins, and lose weight, when you’re older. For the colder states in the USA, too, we are now dealing with the harsh, coldness of winter – when all we crave is more “stick to your ribs” meals and comfort foods. Before you know it, Spring will roll around and you’re still carrying Christmas on your hips!
The Haraka team is passionate about educating people in whole life wellness and giving you the tools and resources to develop healthy habits that support your body. Even with arthritis and those stiff joints that sometimes keep you down…it is possible to get your flexibility and fitness back.
A word of cautious encouragement - be kind to yourself, and start slowly. If you were not a regular exerciser or healthy eater before the holiday season, setting a goal or New Year’s resolution to “get fit and healthy” may set you up for failure. You probably remember the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant?...one bite at a time.” (if you’re into eating elephant of course!)
What “one bite” can you take each day when it comes to your diet, exercise, and overall wellness?
We designed this to help people just like you, get back on track to a healthy way of living – in all aspects of life.
Going from overindulgence to complete abstinence of anything “bad” is taking things too quickly. You’re bound to cave in and head back to the fridge or pantry for a snack because your body is telling you that it needs it. Instead, take one small step each day toward what you ultimately want to achieve with your diet.
Starting with sugar – the one you really need to eliminate if you have inflammation in your joints. If you’ve been eating a lot of sugar, examine your current intake. What do you eat every day that has sugar in eat. (read the nutritional labels!) Then, pick a couple of items or ingredients that you can cut back on, or eliminate altogether. Throw out the remaining holiday snacks. Make sure you have honey, maple syrup, berries (even if frozen) and other fruit. These could satisfy the cravings at first.
Find what works for you – but word to the wise…get rid of all the temptation. Don’t even have it in the house until the next holiday season rolls around.
Like your food choices, getting moving is also a choice, and one that needs to start slowly in bite sized chunks so that you stay on track. No matter what your benchmark was, start there. Pick one or two movements you can do every day, for just 5 minutes – and go from there.
We’ve also often referred to the importance of building muscle strength as well as cardiovascular exercise – when you do something that increases your heart rate and breathing.
Maybe your first step is to get yourself some resistance bands. Or perhaps consider joining the local gym or YMCA and perhaps take a class. Too much? Then consider starting with a simple walking program. Here’s a great Beginner’s Guide to a Walking Plan.
Only you know your starting point, and only you know the limitations you may have.
In my own health story, I often joke about going from a walker to workout in 6 months. Literally. It is possible – and sometimes essential for your overall wellbeing and self-confidence. If you’re fed up being dependent on a walker – maybe your goal could be to get OFF your walker. This great video will give you some exercises to do exactly that. One small step a day… Also, please make sure you consult with a trained physio therapist or rehabilitation expert.
If you are wheelchair bound, there are still movements you do to build strength and get your heart moving. Check out these great chair workouts.
Combining healthy food choices and movement can get you back on track to a healthy life. Remember, too, your daily use of Haraka will go far toward “loosening” you up and increasing your overall wellbeing.
Here’s to YOUR limber life in 2024!