Halloween is just around the corner and you may be scurrying around to put the finishing touches on costumes for a spooky night.
Whether you're attending a party or walking long distances to ‘trick or treat’ with kids, most likely, you'll be standing and walking for longer periods of time than you're used to. Well, fear not! The evening may be frightful, but the aches and pains in your joints don’t have to be!
Follow these tips to avoid sore legs and feet so you can focus on the fun!
1) Wear good shoes.
If you plan to accompany the kids around the neighborhood, leave the work shoes behind and don a supportive pair of sneakers before you walk out that door. Not only will your feet thank you, but you might feel a spring in your step and earn yourself a treat! If you plan to dress up and it requires some crazy footwear, stash a pair of comfy sneaks in your bag. Make your grand entrance in your costume shoes and when the lights dim, switch them out for your other pair.
2) Stay hydrated.
The cartilage in our joints contains 70-80% water (1) and the fluid that lubricates the joints is also composed of water. When you are dehydrated, these substances also lose some hydration which can lead to friction and therefore pain or discomfort.
3) Limit foods that cause inflammation.
There are many, but we will focus on the biggest offender today; SUGAR. In short, when our bodies metabolize sugar there is a release of a chemical called cytokines. Cytokines are a notorious pro-inflammatory substance and they are high in people who eat processed and sugary foods regularly. Check out Medical News for a more in-depth look on this topic.
4) Add foods that decrease inflammation.
In an effort to control that processed food intake, indulge in some fresh fruits and vegetables to satisfy that craving and reverse some of that cytokine action. Broccoli and carrots may not be as appetizing as a Snickers bar, but a bowl of fresh berries with a dollop of pure whipped cream is a close second and they are a powerhouse of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
5) Move and stretch.
With a comfy pair of sneakers and a belly filled with berries you should be ready to rock the neighborhood trick or treaters and be the life of the party at the Monster Mash. All that movement and activity increases production of the synovial fluid to lubricate the joints, improves circulation, and releases endorphins (the feel-good hormone) so you can enjoy life to its fullest.
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1: Fox et. al, The Basic Science of Articular cartilage; Sports Health 2009 Nov 1(6): 461-468