3 Lifestyle Changes To Help Lessen Your Chances of Developing Arthritis

Dr. Kimberly Bolling, internal medicine

Whether you’ve already noticed that your joints stiffen after resting for awhile, or you’re just worried because you have family members with arthritis, pain from the disease doesn’t have to be part of your present or future.

While you can’t control all of the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis — such as getting older, being female, or having a family history of the disease — you can make lifestyle changes that minimize your risk and prevent symptoms such as stiff, painful, or immobile joints.

Dr. Kimberly Bolling, a highly trained internal medicine specialist, sees firsthand how lifestyle changes improve the health and outlook of men and women in Bowie, Maryland, who come to her for arthritis treatment. Here she shares three lifestyle changes that minimize your risk for arthritis and keep your joints healthy and strong:

1. Lose weight

If you have arthritis in your hips, knees, ankles, or feet, the compression of your joints is compounded by carrying around extra weight. Dr. Bolling recommends getting to a healthy weight to take the pressure off your joints.

Not sure how much you should weigh? Dr. Bolling makes recommendations for an ideal weight when you come in for a physical examination.

If you have trouble losing weight on your own, or tend to yo-yo diet, Dr. Bolling helps with a medically supervised weight loss program that’s individually tailored to address your body composition, wrist-waist circumference, and any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your weight gain. You may be able to lose as much as 20 to 30 pounds in two to three months under Dr. Bolling’s supervision.

2. Avoid inflammatory foods

Even if you don’t need to lose weight, you may be eating foods that trigger your body to produce inflammation in the tissues that cushion your joints. Dr. Bolling recommends eating as much as you want from the safe, vegan food list, avoiding entirely any triggering foods, and adding in other foods as you wish that aren’t on either list.

Safe foods (eat plenty):

Trigger foods (avoid entirely):

Dr. Bolling may recommend essential fatty acid supplements, such as flaxseed oil, primrose oil, or black currant oil, to improve joint health.

3. Mind your joints

Even if you’ve begun to experience arthritis pain, that doesn’t mean you should cut back on exercise. Using your joints wisely and carefully helps them stay healthy.

If you’re not sure what kind of exercise is best for you, Dr. Bolling designs a program that works with your weight, environmental conditions, and goals.

If you play sports, dance, or work in a profession that requires repetitive movements, you need to take extra care of your joints to avoid arthritis. Be sure you get any injuries treated right away at an urgent care center.

Warm up and cool down after sports or repetitive motions, and take breaks from excessive standing or sitting at work.


To learn more about how to keep your joints healthy and prevent arthritis, contact Dr. Bolling for an evaluation. You can call, drop by the Bowie office for urgent care, or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Who Gets Gout?

If you got your information solely from movies, plays, and books, you’d think the only people in the world who get gout are wealthy, obese, white men. Not true. Anyone can develop gout, especially as they age. Are you at risk for painful gout?

Which Type of Sleep Apnea Do You Have?

You snore. You snort. You wake yourself up. It’s no wonder you never feel rested. You do an internet search and realize that you might have sleep apnea. But there’s more than one type. So how do you know which type applies to you?

Help! I'm Struggling to Lose Weight

You try every calorie-reducing diet that comes along, and you run the treadmill for hours. So how come your bulges don’t budge? Why can’t you lose weight so you can be healthy and fit? Sounds like you need some help.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

For all of the muscles you can build up in your body, the one that absolutely needs to be strong is your heart. But when heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States, how do you know if your heart is at risk?

What Causes Earaches?

Maybe you remember getting lots of earaches as a child, but it may take you by surprise when you or a family member gets one as an adolescent or adult. What causes earaches, anyway? And how can you prevent them?

4 Lifestyle Tips for Managing Arthritis

When arthritis makes your joints stiff and painful, your first thought may be to reach for medication. But just making a few changes in your lifestyle could bring you relief, too — and without the side effects.