Getting Old & Creaky?
It seems as soon as we hit a "certain" age, we begin to conveniently blame our age for many things that have nothing to do with how many years we've been alive. This "certain" age changes, depending on what ailment is bothering us on any given day. The truth is, many of the aches and pains we blame on age has more to do with how we've cared for our bodies than it does with the number of years we've spent in our bodies. Especially true when it comes to our creaky old bones and joints. Admit it, we all know there are some 30-year-olds reading this that have already said: "I just can't move as quickly as I used to." At some point, we all say something similar to that. We don't mean to-it just slips out before we can stop ourselves from sounding like our parents.
All kidding aside, there are more than 100 kinds of arthritis; the broad term of arthritis means joint inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 million Americans are afflicted, and 27 million have osteoarthritis, which is by far the most common form of arthritis. Sometimes called degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis accounts for most of the hip and knee replacement surgeries performed in the United States. As with other types of arthritis, women are at higher risk than men for the condition.
Osteoarthritis affects structures throughout the joint. Healthy cartilage allows bones to glide over one another and absorb energy from the shock of physical movement. The cartilage, the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints, begins to break down and wear away. This causes bones to rub together, causing inflammation and pain. This causes bones to change shape and lose motion of the joint. Over time, the joint loses its normal shape. Also, bone spurs may grow on the edges of the joint. By the time a person has symptoms from osteoarthritis and it is no longer just a disease of cartilage. Bone has changed, muscles across the joint have often weakened and there is occasionally inflammation in the lining of the joint.
Unlike some other forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis only affects joints, not internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis-another common form of arthritis-affects other parts of the body besides the joints. It causes inflammation and may make people feel sick, tired and sometimes feverish, among other symptoms.
Some younger people get osteoarthritis from a joint injury, but osteoarthritis most often occurs in people over 40. In fact, at least 80 percent of people over age 55 have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in at least one joint, and approximately one-third have symptoms of the disease. Since the number of older Americans is increasing, so is the percentage of people with osteoarthritis. Before age 55, more men are affected (often the result of a sports or work injury), while after age 55, osteoarthritis is more common in women.
Osteoarthritis affects each person differently. In some, it progresses quickly; in others, the symptoms develop over many years. Researchers do not know exactly what causes the disease, but suspect a combination of factors within the body and in the environment. Genetics, weight and stress on the joints from certain occupations, hobbies or activities may affect the disease and how a person reacts to the disease.
Usually, osteoarthritis develops by joints aching after physical work or exercise. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but most often occurs at the joints in the hands, hips and knees.
Hands: Osteoarthritis of the fingers is the one type of the disease that seems to be predominantly hereditary. More women than men have it, and risk increases after menopause. Small, bony knobs appear on the end joints of the fingers. The base of the thumb joint is also commonly affected by osteoarthritis. Medications, splints or heat treatment can help this kind of osteoarthritis.
Knees: The knees are among the body's main weight-bearing joints. They are also among the joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. Medications, losing weight, exercise and walking aids can reduce pain and disability. In severe cases, knee replacement surgery may be required. Research studies show that being overweight increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees and show that injuries to the knee are a major cause of disease.
Hips: Osteoarthritis in the hip can cause pain, stiffness and severe disability. People most often feel the pain in their groin, front of thighs or knees. Hip replacement is sometimes necessary if the pain is severe and not helped by other treatments.
Can Arthritis Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, there isn't any clear evidence that arthritis can be prevented, but there are powerful arguments. This includes being "kind to our joints," which can lessen the aches and pains that come with "getting older." Staying active and keeping your joints limber and flexible will pay dividends throughout your lifetime. Investing in you, through fitness and health, is a wise choice at any age!
Member Spotlight: Tia Hegel
Tia Hegel has been a PLF member for 2 and a half years. She originally joined PLF because her, now, fiancé wanted to get into triathlons and needed someone to teach him how to swim. PLF had everything she needed, from kettlebells to a swimming pool. After Tia had their son, she just wanted to lose the baby weight and get back into good shape. Tia saids, "I believe in fitness and living an overall healthy lifestyle, so my goals are always to continue to live that lifestyle for myself and my family. I think it is important to set an example for our kids so they can live happy and healthy lives as well!"
When asked how long it took her to reach her goals, she stated, "I've lost the baby weight, but I'm always continuing to try to improve myself!"
Tia says what she likes most about her PLF experience is that everyone is very friendly and the facility has everything you could need. It's also kept very clean, which is important. When asked if she would recommend PLF to her family and friends, Tia stated, "I would, because it is a very family-friendly place fit for everyone from the beginner to the advanced. The daycare staff is great. And, if someone needs help, the trainers are very knowledgeable and friendly."
Tia before and after pictures:
PNO Turkey Hunt
PNO (Parent's Night Out) is Friday, November 7 from 5:30-9pm. We will spend our evening going on a turkey hunt, swimming for the older kids and turkey hand crafts for the younger kids. As always, we will provide dinner and a movie. Cost for members is $15 for the first child, $12 for the second and $10 for the third. Nonmember's cost is $22. Registration will begin Monday, October 20 and ends November 5. A $5 late fee will be added to anyone who signs up after November 5. For any questions, contact Leyna at email@example.com.
PNO (Parent's Night Out) is Friday Night, November 21 from 6pm-9:30pm. Kids will start the night off by playing games in our indoor swimming pool, followed by a dinner of pizza. While watching a kid-friendly movie, the kids will have the opportunity to create a small Thanksgiving craft or color-in Thanksgiving pictures. PNO is $15 for the first member child, $12 for the second and $10 for the third. Nonmember's cost is $22. Registration will begin November 1 and ends November 19. A $5 late fee will be added to anyone who signs up after November 19. For any questions, contact Brandy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanksgiving Holiday Class Schedule
Thanksgiving Day Club Hours: 6am-4pm
Thanksgiving Day Class Schedule, November 27
90-min. Cycling: 6:15-7:45am
No Water Aerobic Classes
Friday, November 28
Club Hours: 5am-Midnight
Energy Water: 8:45-9:45am
Triathlon Challenge coming in December!
Watch for details coming soon for our December Triathlon Challenge! You will have 2 weeks, and seniors 60+ will have 3 weeks, to complete Ironman distances!