Sunday, November 25, 2012

How About No Pain And No (Weight) Gain

Perhaps one of the hardest things about exercise is that it can be somewhat painful, especially in the beginning.  In fact, depending on the level of discomfort combined with the degree of pain tolerance that you have, your aspirations of losing weight and getting in shape can come to a crashing halt real quick.
One aspect is that you simply overdid it or chose the wrong exercise.  It's critical that you start slow and use techniques that are suitable for you.  I didn't start out power-walking 5 miles per day...  But in reality, there may be a real physical issue causing your pain.
A recent Harvard study suggests that sugary soft drinks can worsen the osteoarthritis in men, but not women.  Though the causes are not certain, the researchers speculate that several ingredients in sugary drinks damage bone health. Caffeine, for instance, can promote osteoporosis, phosphoric acid may interfere with calcium absorption, and high fructose corn syrup — a common sweetener in carbonated beverages — can also negatively affect bone.
So for those men with a soft drink craving, a switch to diet soda might be the right choice?  No way.  Additional studies from other sources suggest that Aspartame (found in diet sodas and artificial sweeteners) can also worsen arthritis since it causes inflammation in the joints when regularly consumed.  (For women too!)
BTW - you don't have to be old to have arthritis or knee pain.
So if you are experiencing knee pain when exercising, a reasonable first step is to cut out all soda.  I know, easier said than done as I am still battling a Diet Coke addiction.  Luckily I don't have the knee pain, but I can feel plenty of other affects when I drink too much of it.  I have cut back - a lot, but still haven't completely dumped it. 
My strategy is this - drink one large glass for each can of Diet Coke initially.  Then work towards two large glasses for each can, etc.  Most days I keep my Diet Coke consumption down to two cans and sometimes zero. 
Keeping things in perspective, if you experience pain while trying to exercise, look for solutions rather than letting it be an excuse to avoid physical activity.  Their is a lot of information on the internet, so Google it and see what others are experiencing. 
The reality is that you should be able to prevent weight gain with little or no pain!

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