The older I get, the more I’ve put my joint pain down to age, sport and lifestyle. I was recently told that at some stage in the near future I would need a knee replacement and would have to slow down.
Being a bit “old school” I’ve always trained longer and harder lose weight and burn additional calories – all with different success. I began to notice that training longer was making me tired (my wife might say grumpy), even though (luckily for me) exercise has never been a chore.
I decided to conduct some of my own research into the types of food that I was consuming to assess whether this had any bearing on my joint pain. Was it possible that looking closely at my overall diet could prolong the inevitable surgery?
Just because a specific food or drink has nutritional value, doesn’t mean it is ideal for YOUR body. I quickly learnt and understood that I was eating a lot of foods that were actually causing inflammation in MY joints and contributing to MY joint pain. These foods include sugar, trans fats, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, dairy, processed foods, artificial ingredients, gluten and alcohol. With my new research and fresh attitude, I was willing to commit myself to my own trial - with incredible results.
After just one month of eating cleaner and completely avoiding foods that inflamed my joints, I cannot believe the results. I am now able to exercise without pain, I am without joint soreness after exercise, (especially after a cardio workout) and the chronic, constant joint pain that I suffered has dramatically reduced to the point where it is no longer noticeable.
I’ve also dropped 5kgs and have been able to maintain my weight, I have a better range of movement, less joint stiffness and a greater amount of energy. And these results were after only just one month!
We all want and need to live an active lifestyle especially as we age, so we feel stronger, have a healthy cardiovascular system, retain strong ligaments and tendons and have good bone density. For me being an ex-professional sportsman, I certainly wouldn’t recommend not exercising, because this has played a massive part in keeping me both mentally and physically strong. However, upon reflection, I do believe that I put up with joint pain through stubbornness and possibly a little naivety, and should have sought advice from a health nutritionist much sooner.
Before changing my diet and eliminating the inflammatory culprits, I was exercising out of necessity to retain strength and cardiovascular fitness as well as maintain my weight. These days I am feeling great (both before and after training), rather than sore and sometimes tired.
Just so you understand, a typical week for me includes the following exercise:
Monday: 80 minutes cardio broken up into 4 parts: 20 minute bike, 20 minute grinder, 20 minute cross ski and 20 minute bike, plus core workout
Tuesday: Upper body weights. One hour power walk
Wednesday: 40km on the bike and 7 x 3minute rounds of boxing, plus core workout
Thursday: Same as Tuesday
Friday: Stretching and core workout
Saturday: 40km bike followed by 90 minute sauna/spa session
Always remember to work out at your own pace and ability and seek professional advice if and when required.