Courtesy of Vlado | freedigitalphotos.net
The litany of famous athletes who suffer from various types of arthritis is long: golfers, cyclists, figure skaters, baseball stars, downhill skiers … you get the idea. There are countless athletes performing and competing at world-class levels in every imaginable sport. They do it all despite their arthritis and many have become high-profile and public supporters for their form of arthritis.
These athletes have found a way to compete at the highest echelon of their sport even as they suffer from the effects of arthritis. They do it with the aid of sports psychologists (keep attitudes positive), physiotherapists (keep joints limber), coaches (keep on the game), trainers (keep in top physical shape), medical personnel (keep tweaking meds), and maybe a financial advisor and a business agent too. On the other hand, we mere mortals must play all those roles (and more) by ourselves and all at the same time. The team behind us is far less comprehensive: probably a medical doc (rheumatologist) and then a bunch of friends and family cheering us on from the sidelines.
Courtesy of lamnee | freedigitalphotos.net
In recent years, arthritis research and advocacy organizations have made important inroads in creating public awareness about the many types of arthritis (and related inflammatory diseases). However, I think that there’s nothing like an athlete’s star power to help focus attention on arthritis, which until recently was not understood or even considered a “serious” disease by many health professionals.
Athletes are terrific ambassadors for spreading the word about arthritis; their personal stories provide comfort and inspiration about how they cope with their condition during their sports careers. They possess the ideal public platform to get out the message about arthritis’ deleterious impact on millions of lives. In bringing awareness to the seriousness of the disease, they also help to direct more dollars towards research and ultimately, a cure.
Personally, we all deserve to consider ourselves as winners. Every day, we haul our pain around with us, we cope with hurting joints and aches, and the secondary effects created by various medications, including fatigue and depression. Unlike high-performing athletes, we do this without the benefit of a team of medical and/or health professionals. We participate as best we can in the “game” of life; we find our personal motivation and encouragement to keep moving. We may not run marathons, bolt down ski slopes at breakneck speeds, or drive a golf ball 300 yards, but we are all arthritis athletes in our own right. ~Fran
Just in time for National Seniors Day in Canada on Wednesday, October 1, Paul Luke of The Province wrote a feature article titled “Over 65 and going strong: Baby Boomers are reinventing old age”. In the article, he talks about the following themes:
- Baby boomers’ perception of physical appearance;
- Baby boomers are the richest and healthiest generation;
- Seniors in the workforce;
- Good health in seniors;
- Statistics on the numbers of seniors in Canada; and,
- The road ahead.
Please find below a summary of each section.
To help her keep fit, Fran rides her bike, but she is finding it a bit of a pain in the . . .
I’ve written ABN posts about cycling and how my bike-savvy son has outfitted me to maximize my comfort and protect my various body parts (hands, arms, back) affected by osteoarthritis and/or ankylosing spondylitis. But what I failed to take into account as I became more proficient on the bike and my excursions extended beyond a few kilometers, was the effect that biking would have on other ‘lower’ body parts, such as the end of the tailbone and other adjacent posterior bits.
True, I have a high-tech, ergonomic and nicely padded bike seat, but it turns out that my sit-upon region appears to need additional cushioning against uneven road surfaces and the jarring effect of the constant bouncing up and down as you ride along. I know that professional cyclists suffer from numbness and discomfort in the buttocks, but as a recreational (and occasional) rider I never expected to have similar issues. But sure enough, after an hour or so in the saddle, the pain in my hands or arms is secondary to the pain in my butt. Continue reading
#Goals4Arthritis – Goal 28: PED: Performance enhancing diet
Along with intense, high performance training and exercise, today’s players in the FIFA World Cup™ follow rigorous nutrition and diet regimes to maximize their performance. The coaching staff of the World Cup teams, with the guidance and direction of dieticians and nutritionists, provide their players carefully planned meals and snacks.
Maintaining a good diet is also good for your joint health. #Goals4Arthritis wants you to enhance your performance by eating well today. Cooking at home is a good way to ensure you get the healthy ingredients your body requires and a positive way to be active and get your joints moving.
Though no dietary miracles have yet been discovered in the fight against arthritis, scientists have made a number of recent research advancements on the role of diet and nutrition in arthritis treatment. Today, we understand much more about the connections between arthritis, diet, healthy bodyweight, immune function, and inflammation. We are learning more and more about the positive steps each of us can take to fight arthritis and encourage overall health.
To help you understand what the research is telling us about arthritis and nutrition, click here for a discussion about what is proven effective, and what is not: http://jointhealth.org/aboutarthritis-treatments-diet.cfm?locale=en-CA
#Goals4Arthritis – Goal 27: Are you in the running for the World Cup?
In the FIFA World Cup™, players run approximately 70 per cent of the actual minutes of a game. The faster a soccer player can run, the greater his ability to beat defenders. Most of the runs made in soccer are explosive, high intensity runs, where sprinting, strength and jumping ability are extremely important.
Today’s #Goals4Arthritis is to take advantage of the weather and go out for a run.
Below are tips, courtesy of Runner’s World, for people living with arthritis who wants to continue running.
#Goals4Arthritis – Goal 25: To volley or futevolei
To celebrate the end of the quarterfinals in the World Cup, #Goals4Arthritis took a break yesterday. We continue our goals today with two exciting sports commonly found in the beaches of Brazil – volleyball and futevolei. Futevolei is a sport born on the beaches of Copacabana in the 1960s.
To enjoy the beach or lakeshore today, #Goals4Arthritis wants you to play volleyball or futevolei.
Futevolei, like beach volleyball, features a pair of competitors on each side of the volleyball net. Unlike volleyball, futevolei is played without the use of hands. Creativity is the key to success – players can use their feet, shoulders, chests, heads, and anything else that would be legal on a soccer field to get the ball back over the net.
Futevolei has grown in popularity and is now played around the world. Click here to observe how futevolei is played.
Fortuntaely there are ways for volleyball or fetevolei enthusiasts to enjoy the game even if they have arthritis.
Kevin Plancher, M.D., a leading NY-area orthopaedist, sports medicine expert and an official orthopaedic surgeon with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams, suggests the following: