The following information is brought to you by The Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation offers an entire range of exercise programs to help you get started. You can choose from all-around gentle exercises that increase joint flexibility, range of motion and muscle strength or aquatics that allow you to exercise without putting excess strain on your joints and muscles. There are also tai chi classes designed specifically for people with arthritis and a Walk with Ease program helping you take the first step toward developing a healthy walking habit. Find out more on exercise programs in your area.
How to Move and How Much to Move
When it comes to moving, the goal is to do it on a regular basis. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults do a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking, gardening) a week or 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous aerobic physical activity (jogging, aerobic dancing). Whether your activity is moderate or vigorous, keep moving.
There are many different goals for exercise. You want to keep your weight down in order to lessen impact and pressure on joints. You also want to strengthen the muscles around certain joints. And you want to increase your range of motion. So, how do you do it all? Just make sure your workout is well-rounded!
The best way to do that is to slowly incorporate aerobic fitness, muscular fitness and flexibility into your routine.
Aerobic fitness – Getting your heart pounding and your lungs filled with oxygen rewards you with improved metabolism, a better mood, more energy, increased stamina and decreased inflammation. Try aquatics, walking, swimming and cycling.
Muscular fitness – Strength training makes your joints more stable and strong muscles keep your bones positioned properly, increasing bone density and decreasing your risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Try light resistant bands or tubing.
Flexibility – Stretching decreases daily joint stiffness, improves range of motion and minimizes muscle soreness after exercise. Try yoga and tai chi and other gentle stretches.
Remember, when beginning an exercise program, you should always consult with your doctor before starting out.
Now that you know how important it is to exercise and how often you should do it, here are some tools to help you stay motivated to move.
- Set your exercise goals and get moving with the Let’s Move Together movement tracker.
- Get up and go with motivational podcasts that will psych you up to move.
- Follow along at home with exercise videos you can watch online.
Keep an exercise log to track your progress.