Arthritis and the Middle Aged Powerlifter
I know, buddy.
You figured since you’ve stayed aggressively active,
while most guys your age were de-volving into organic designs on the couch cushions–
……… that you’d be safe from that ravager of time- arthritis.
It don’t work exactly like that.
Exercise will help — no doubt.
But, no matter how active you are, arthritis can sneak up on you.
You’ve probably had the same advice from your doctor that I got about managing arthritis.
Ibuprofen, or other NSaids….
and you probably thought the same I did– ” hey– that stuff impairs muscle growth ! ”
So right, so right.
But damn. It hurts in the morning without it.
What’s a self respectin’ weight lifter to do then ?
Well, actually, there are a couple stategies worth a try.
The first one is about reducing your body fat ratio.
As weightlifters, we both know how important some hormones (i.e, testosterone, epinephrine) are to strength.
But did you know that stored body fat causes your body to increase/overproduce inflammatory hormones— like cortisol, eicosanoids, and insulin?
By reducing your BFI, you’ll look better, and you’ll feel better, too.
Kinda like a win win, for winners.
Back to those inflammatory hormones now–
— because the second stategy also has to do with reducing them— with diet.
You see, many of the foods you eat are actually contributing to your arthritis.
Anything utilizing trans-fats, saturated fats, soy derivitives, simple sugars– or foods high in arachadonic acid ( omega 6 fatty acids ) — these all end up increasing inflammation and stiffness in the joints.
Now, I’m not suggesting you give up bacon.
Let’s not get carried away here, buddy.
But I am suggesting lowering the levels of consumption of those foods, while eating more of the kinds of foods ( high in things like Omega-3 Fatty Acids ) that help DECREASE inflammation.
A partial list of these foods would include :
Salmon, Crab, Herring, Flax ( not Tilapia — too many Omega-6’s ! )
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins-
Berries, Cherries, Eggplant
Yams, carrots, greens, turnips, pumpkin
Onions, apples, broccoli, cherry tomatoes
Garlic, ginger, turmeric .
The third approach is one used in combination to the other two– supplementation.
If you’ve any of my stuff, you know how big I am on supplementation.
And on the subject of reducing inflammation, stiffness, and arthritis, I absolutely insist it’s a MUST !
( Of course, the best way to get this stuff in ya is in your diet…..
But, for all practical purposes, you ain’t gonna get enough of them, unless you supplement.
So by all means, do so. )
Here is a list of those supp’s I recommend :
( You can find several of these combined into dedicated joint supplements ! )
Chondroitin ( with sulphur)
SAM-e (with B-6, B-12, folate)
Bromelain (with rutin and trypsin)
Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
Also, try to find a testosterone booster that works for you….
More testosterone will make you feel better, stronger, younger even.
And it helps reduce inflammation, too.
I hate taking pills…
………. but you gotta dooo what you gotta dooooo.
Number four is much easier to administer … HEAT.
Try warm compresses on your problem spots 45 minutes before,
…. and directly after your workouts.
Or — Jump into the hot tub — even better !
And don’t forget the importance of keeping your joints warm during your workout–
……. by using wraps whenever/where-ever possible.
One last thing I like to mention… a glass of red wine a day .
It contains a phenol called “Resveratrol” , which has in several studies shown to reduce inflammation, and INCREASE testosterone ( which, of course, is a never a bad thing ) !!
And heck, even if it didn’t, a glass of good red wine will most likely make you forget about the stiffness in your joints… for a while, anyhoo.