Chronic aches, pains, stiffness and general bodily fatigue are common among many athletes. Knees, shoulders, neck, hips and elbows are the usual suspects and it really can be a living nightmare to deal with on a daily basis. As a personal trainer and general advocate of healthy living, you might have guessed that in my opinion pharmaceuticals are not the right answer. Believe me, in 99% of cases they’re not. Going down this route will simply treat the symptoms. The initial benefits will be short lived and in many cases outweighed by the side effects of conventional drugs.
The safer alternative will require a bit more discipline; an understanding of what is going on inside your body when you provide it with certain fuel. But in years to come when your grandchildren want to play in the garden with your future wrinkly self, (inshallah) you won’t have to sit on the side-lines.
Inflammation is the condition through which our tissues have become overly irritated due to an injury or in some cases infection. This irritation can come about in several forms. All of which can put a real downer on your day. Primarily, you may feel considerable pain, swelling and redness in the affected joint/area. Another common symptom of inflammation is significant stiffening of the joints.
So how do we alleviate these symptoms long term in a safe and effective manner?
The answer? It all starts with your food!
Put your body at ease and take advantage of the 5 FitLife Steps to a healthy, happier and less-inflamed you.
1) Remember – Fresh food is best. That’s when nutrients are at their highest.
Eating fresh vegetables is a great way to provide your body with adequate sources of:
Potassium – Helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
FiberFibre (dietary) – Can help reduce blood cholesterol.
Folate – Helps the body form healthy red blood cells.
Vitamins A, E and C – Formation of teeth and soft tissue; protection against immune system deficiencies and antioxidant properties which fight against free radicals that can cause damage and inflammation on a cellular level.
2) Correct snacking between meals (fruit, nuts and seeds) instead of processed foods like crisps, cookies and cakes.
Snacking between meals can prevent you from becoming so hungry that you reach for the nearest unhealthy junk when it’s time for your next meal. A healthy snack made up of complex carbohydrates, protein and good fats will stabilize your blood sugar levels much more so than a sugary snack would; which will in turn increase your focus and performance throughout the day!
3) Up your Omega-3’s – Cut down on the red meat and opt for oily fish such as salmon and white meat such a chicken and turkey for your source of protein.
Oily fish such as Salmon and Mackerel are rich in essential Omega 3 fatty acids which are important for healthy brain function. There is also emerging evidence to suggest that Oily fish consumption twice a week can reduce inflammation levels and the risk of arthritis and cancer.
4) Increase your frequency of exercise. A happy heart means more efficient transport of nutrients around the body and removal of toxins which build up as a result of inflammation.
The benefits of exercise are undeniable. Not only will regular exercise increase muscular strength, improve posture, stamina and help reduce the risk of a number of diseases, it will lift your mood, relieve stress and help you sleep better!
5) Utilise the ‘G BOMBS’: Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds.
When it comes to food, here at FitlifeDXB our focus is on packing in ‘nutrient density’. Incorporate these foods into your daily regime to reduce inflammation, promote longevity and prevent chronic disease.