World Arthritis Day: Move to Improve

World Arthritis Day is celebrated each year on 12 October to raise awareness of the disease amongst the public and the medical community. It also aims to ensure that patients are aware of the support network available to them.

This year, the theme of World Arthritis Day is move to improve which focuses on the benefits of physical activity for people with arthritis.

Even though it may seem that arthritis can be too painful for you to move, physical activity is the best way to keep arthritis pain at bay. Add more movement to your daily life – include doing tasks in the house, playing with children, cleaning the kitchen counter, walking the dog and grocery shopping – and you will benefit in a number of ways:

Exercise provides stronger muscles and bones
Gives better joint mobility
Reduces pain
Decreases disease progression
Helps in weight loss

Exercise must, however, be done only after consulting your doctor or physiotherapist who will be able to inform you about the correct form and technique you can adopt.

Remember to warm up before you do any exercise; for example you could spot march while swinging your arms.

Click here to watch a video on warming up exercises

Wear appropriate clothes and shoes for shock absorption. When exercising indoors, make sure you have enough space to move to prevent accidents by tripping over furniture.

Click here for some dos and don’ts of exercising.

Two of the main reasons people give for not exercising are lack of results and lack of time. Most of the time, results can be imperceptible like improved sleep, better moods, firmer grip and an overall sense of well-being. If lack of time is on top of your list of exercise excuses, remember to set your exercise schedule for a time of the day you are likely to stick with consistently.

Here’s how you can overcome some barriers to physical activity.

If you work in an office and cannot find time to exercise at home, try to create opportunities to exercise at your workplace. Simple tricks like taking the stairs, walking to your colleague’s desk instead of using the telephone and walking around the building after lunch can help.

You could also follow these exercise tips to stay fit while at work.

If you have any suggestions on staying active at home or at work, post your ideas in the comments section below.

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