There is no better time than Arthritis Awareness Month to get physically active.
Start or keep on walking –May is a great time to begin a walking program or recommit yourself to a walking routine. Physical activity has been shown to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function, and quality of life. Walking is a great way for people with arthritis to be physically active. Ask others to join you for a walk.
Walking is recommended —All adults, including adults with arthritis, should get 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) per week and do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. If you take brisk walks for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you will meet the aerobic activity recommendations from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Don't think you can walk for 30 minutes at one time? You can break it up into 10 minute sessions and spread it out during the day—walk the dog 10 minutes in the morning, take a 10 minute walk to discuss a project with a co-worker, and walk 10 minutes around a sports facility or parking lot while waiting to pick up your kids from after school activities.
There are exercise programs, such as EnhanceFitness and Walk with Ease, that can help people with arthritis increase their physical activity safely and comfortably. Ys, local parks and recreation centers offer these programs in some locations.
Self-management education classes can help you change your routine to become more physically active. These classes have been proven to influence exercise, increase confidence in making healthy lifestyle changes, and the ability to do household and social activities, and decrease depression, pain, and frustration about health. They help adults living with arthritis learn techniques to reduce pain and improve function and to develop skills and confidence to manage arthritis and other conditions daily.