Lifestyle Changes

Weight and diet

Weight and diet

If you want to lose weight, you're not alone. Keeping to a healthy weight is particularly important if you have inflammatory arthritis because of the extra strain it puts on your joints.

The best approach to food for people with inflammatory arthritis – or anyone else – is a well-balanced diet.

Roughly two-thirds of your diet should come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The other third should include low-fat dairy products and lean sources of protein.

Talk to your doctor about checking your weight and what support is available if you need to lose weight.

Exercise

Exercise

Many people with inflammatory arthritis find water-based activities good for them as the water supports the joints. Aqua-aerobic classes and swimming are great all-round forms of exercise. If you can't swim – it's never too late to start classes!

Yoga, Pilates, cycling and walking are also good for people with inflammatory arthritis. Make sure that you take things slow to begin with, allowing yourself to build up stamina – the key is everything in moderation.

Exercise has so many benefits and can help to improve your sleep, help to reduce pain, stiffness and anxiety, it can help speed up your recovery from flare-ups. Exercise is also one of the main ways that you can help keep at a healthy weight.

Your doctor will be able to offer you exercise advice to help you get moving.

Stopping smoking

Smoking can make your inflammatory arthritis worse, so it is recommended that you stop. Your doctor will be able to offer you advice on the best way for you to stop smoking and put you in touch with local support services to help you to quit.