Minimising the Risks

To minimise the modifiable risk factors of OA we must look at a person’s individual lifestyle. Is this person overweight? Are they exercising enough? Is their diet in check? Is there anything that can be improved?

Below we’ll pick out two key areas which can be improved on by the majority of the population.


WEIGHT LOSS AND NUTRITION

If you are someone who over indulges on eating out, doesn’t prepare meals at home or only cooks with the microwave, start off with the basics. Aim for 3 main meals per a day with 2 snacks and plenty of water. Don’t choose meals that will take you hours and hours over the stove top.

Start with a high-quality protein source (lean meats, chickpeas, beans, pulses, fish) 1 portion per a meal roughly palm size, then onto your fruit or veg (try and add plenty of colour to the dish with salads, eg, fruits) 1-2 varieties per a meal, next we add our carbohydrate source (potatoes, rice, breads, pasta) roughly a fist size per a meal. This leads us on to to our final macro nutrient, fat. Fat is the densest macro nutrient available to the body at 9 kcals per 1g, while carbohydrates and proteins both yield 4 kcals per 1g. However, this doesn’t mean we should avoid fat completely, as we need fat consumption to help with hormone balance and also certain vitamin absorption. As a rough guide, we should be aiming for around a teaspoon of unsaturated-fat per a meal.


For an individual to lose 1kg or 2.2lbs of body weight per a week, that person must ‘burn’ 3500 kcals per a week. So on average this individual would need to burn 500 kcals a day either through exercise or through their nutrition, ideally a combination of both. If we looked at this long term, if a patient dropped only 200 kcals a day out of their diet (roughly the equivalent of 4 celebrations chocolates). That person would have dropped over the course of a year 73,000 kcals, the equivalent of 20.8kg of fat per year which works out as 1.7kg per month, 0.4kg a month. This will be a slow process but also a process that is extremely achievable no matter the individual's lifestyle or circumstances.


Exercise.

As a general rule, a person should aim for around 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per a week. This can be broken down to however you want!

This could be 5 x 30 minutes per a week, it could be 3 x 50 minutes per a week, it could even be broken down further from the 5 x 30 minutes per week and to then 3 x 10 minutes per a day, 5 times per a week. Out of those 150 minutes we would aim for 75 mins to be resistance training exercises, while talking about OA lower body and postural exercises.


These exercises could include but not limited to, squats, half squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, hip abduction, hip adduction, zercher carries, farmers walks and calf raises. As a general rule, we would be aiming to complete exercises for 2-3 sets for 10-15 repetitions. We would slowly over the course of time add things like weights, bands, tempos, time under tension to name a few, however our main aim is to GET MOVING!