Shape Up Your Workout

Studies show that physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis. Physical activity is also important for the management of other chronic conditions that are common among adults with arthritis, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Structured physical activity programs are proven to reduce symptoms and teach participants how to safely increase their physical activity to manage arthritis and other chronic conditions. Here are ten steps to help you get started and keep your exercise program going:

Find an activity you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Treat workouts like commitments. Block out time on your calendar to let people know you’re unavailable. 

Think like an active person. An active person thinks of ways to be active. 

Make everyday activities count. Pushing a grocery cart, strolling at the mall, walking the dog and doing housework all have benefits. 

Find a workout partner. Another person or group can make activities more enjoyable and help hold you accountable. 

Find excuses to walk. Take a walk to your neighbor’s instead of calling. 

Aim for 4,000 steps. Walking eases pain, and a recent study found that 4,000 steps a day is enough to boost longevity. 

Stand up. It eases stiffness, reduces disease risk and can prolong your life. 

Join a group activity. There are several chances at Kirby Pines, like yoga stretch, sit-n-stand exercise, water aerobics or line dancing. 

Be mindful of pain. Some muscle aches after exercise is normal, but if pain lasts beyond two hours, do less or modify the activity. 

Take advantage of the many opportunities here at Kirby Pines to stay active and physically fit. Discover miles of walking trails outside and inside. Visit the Oasis to use the equipment or to join a water aerobics class. Find your exercise class in the PAC or at home on the channel 2.1. Consult with your doctor if you need physical therapy to get started. And in a few weeks, reward yourself with a new pair of walking shoes or water bottle for sticking with your program.