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Millions of Canadians endure stiffness, swelling and pain from arthritis. Osteoarthritis accounts for 80% of hip replacement surgery and more than 90% of knee replacements performed in Canada according to the Arthritic Society.

Excess weight contributes to the deterioration of cartilage around the bone. While many people connect their weight to illness such as heart disease and diabetes but when it comes to osteoarthritis that link is not in their minds.

But reducing weight and exercising is vital. Sadly the vast majority of people are not told by their physicians who think only about medication and surgery as the only solution to the problem. I vividly remember hearing my neighbour, "Peter", a 250 pound man, complain that his knees were killing him. He subsequently had eight knee operations but he never lost any weight.

Too many people do not exercise because they think they are making their disease worse. There is a difference between hurt and harm. The mainstay of coping with the disease is lifestyle modification including good nutrition/sleep along with proper weight control. Chronic pain is alleviated by a balanced approach with exercise, no smoking and moderate alcohol use.

By the age of 60, you can not get away with the limited exercise that you have been doing for the last 20 years Over the years I have gone from 208 pounds to my present weight of 152 and suit size 44 to 40. I have three small nutritious meals and two snacks a day and I am never ever hungry. No, I do not drink eight glasses of water a day trying to protect my kidney function and having to urinate all night long. A teaspoon of Sunflower oil with porridge and hot tea and "I am good to go." in the morning. I go to bed around 9.30 and awake up well rested at 6.00 a.m thanking God for my life.

Off to the Y with Ella at 7.30 for swimming/biking in the pool followed by a long decadent shower and then home for lunch to await a client for counseling.

My guide to good health comes from the book, "The Okinawa Program, How the world’s longest-lived people achieve everlasting health." The people live well into their 90's without cancer, osteoarthritis or heart disease and other maladies of the modern world

Take a moment and check out the web site 23 hours 30 minutes on YouTube recommended to me be by Jack Miller, Physiotherapist at Body Mechanics and learn the essence of good life. You only need 30 minutes a day of exercise to maintain your health.

On average Canadians spend 23 ˝ hours a day sitting and sleeping. The biggest difference to your health is to exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week. North Americans have a love affair with their computer/tv and spend on average 5 hours a day sitting in front of their screens. Statistics show that Americans/Canadians who spend on average 6 hours in front of screens a day, die 5 years earlier then those who are not addicted to their devices.

There is a simple remedy to be healthy and gain a positive quality of life. If you can limit your sedentary life style to 23 ˝ hours a day to be active 30 minutes a day you can end up in the end happier and healthy?

My Uncle Micky Lester signed off his radio show every evening with some wise advise: "Take it easy my friendly, you will last a whole lot longer and finish a whole lot stronger."

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com