Why is it important to be a healthy weight?

Being a healthy weight can lower your risk and or help manage many long-term health conditions, including arthritis. Your general wellbeing, including your mental health, will also benefit from being a healthy weight.

Carrying excess weight increases inflammation levels in the body as well as increasing pressure on the joints. This can make you more likely to develop Osteoarthritis and more likely to experience increased symptoms such as pain and stiffness.

What do you need to do?

It’s not always easy, but aiming to generally follow a healthy balanced diet and exercise regularly will support a balance of energy in and energy out.

How can you do it?

Everybody is different! It is about finding what works for you.

Be realistic. Introduce any changes to your diet and exercise routine slowly so you can stick to them and monitor the effects.

When can you do it?

Start with small steps. 

Many of us eat too many processed and takeaway foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.

Losing weight by developing a long-term plan based around a ‘Mediterranean’ style diet will usually result in better long term weight control than fad or crash diets that are hard to stick with.

A Mediterranean diet is high in fruit, vegetables, grain foods like rice, pasta, bread, cereals. Protein including legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, lean meat and low-fat milk and milk products.

Exercise -start with around 15 mins of exercise over the day. Enjoyable, motivating activities for you, e.g., walking/ water exercise/gardening.

Aim to increase this over time to about 2/-1/2 hours of moderate or 1-1/4 hours of vigorous physical activity across a week. Moderate activity means you should be breathing hard but be able to hold a conversation.


Finding and having support as you make any lifestyle changes is important for success.

Some personalised support options include speaking to an Arthritis Educator by phoning us on 0800 663 463 or filling out the form below to have an educator call you.

Green Prescription – you can self refer or ask your GP for a referral. Visit the Green Prescription website – https://www.greenprescription.nz/.

Visit the Nutrition and Exercise pages on our website to help get you started.

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