Arthritis earlier affected people only after the age of 40 and women were believed to be more at risk. But now the age factor seems to have become irrelevant and even young people are being increasingly diagnosed with the disease. And not surprisingly so. Given the sedentary lifestyle and changing food habits which comprise consumption of a lot of junk, the odds of an arthritis patient carrying extra flab have increased. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism around overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees which helps ease the pain.
Yoga Expert Swami Ashutosh, Founder of Panchwati Yogashram & Nature Cure Center, says that an arthritis patient who is also overweight at the same time could go for a set of pranayamas for long-lasting benefits and as a non-drug solution.
Why Pranayama Instead of Yoga Asanas Are Recommended For Overweight People
Given that an overweight person is unlikely to sit in various asanas with joints being stiff and painful besides excessive fat making it even more challenging, a set of three simple pranayamas could bring results in just three months. The yoga practitioner also says that arthritis gets aggravated when a patient is under stress and hence pranayamas could heal the immune system preventing a mild situation to become intense. This could be supplemented with ahar chikitsa (diet control) for better results.
Here Are The Pranayamas Advised For An Obese Arthritis Patient
Swami Ashutosh says that a person suffering from both arthritis and obesity could go for these three pranayamas:
Kapalbhati helps improve metabolic rate which further reduces fat from the body and leads to weight loss
How To Do It
- Sit in any meditative posture.
- Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
- Inhale deeply through both nostrils, expand the chest.
- Release the breath with forceful contractions of the abdominal muscles and relax.
- Do not strain.
- Continue the exhalation and passive inhalation.
2. Nadi Shodhana
Nadi Sodhana which involves deep and conscious breathing, helps improve oxygen supply in the body because of which metabolism becomes better. This helps in reducing weight.
How To Do It
- Sit in a comfortable posture.
- Bring your right hand thumb to the right nostril, ring and small fingers to left, index and middle finger folded and resting at the base of the thumb
- Exhale completely.
- Block the right nostril and inhale through left nostril.
3. Anulam Vilom
Anulom Vilom which is also a kind of Nadi Pranayama helps you improve your breathing which in turn leads to losing weight.
How To Do It
- Place your thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on the left
- Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril, slowly and deeply
- Focus on your breathing.
- Release your thumb and close your left nostril with your ring finger.
The yoga expert however added that the three Pranayama could be practised provided the patient does not have high blood pressure and that if practiced together they could bring instant results.
Food Modifications For Obese Arthritis Patients To Lose Weight
Swami Ashutosh says that apart from the pranayama, it is important to modify food for the desired result.
"It is very necessary that the patient controls his diet without which desired result will not come. Some of the foods that could be avoided are rice, arbi, ripe bananas, lady finger, tea, coffee, cold drinks, pickles etc," said the yog guru.
How and Where To Sit?
Assuming that the arthritis patients are unable to sit in lotus pose or padmasana (cross-legged), Swami Ashutosh suggests that the person could sit on the chair and do the pranayamas.
In order to prepare for the same, the patient could go for Sukshama Vyayama. The Yogic Sukshma Vyayam involves ankle movement, wrist, shoulder and finger movement, knee compression among other things.
Yoga Asanas That Arthritis Patients Could Practice Post Losing Weight
After practicing the pranayamas and modifying food habits over a period of time once the weight loss is achieved, arthritis patients can do the following asanas for managing their health condition.
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