With schools resuming classes and Labor Day quickly approaching, it may feel like the summer is ending. The summer season will continue for the next month (the Autumnal Equinox is September 22), and we continue to have longer days with a few extra hours of sunlight in the morning and in the evening following a traditional workday. Take the opportunity with the extra sunlight to continue your summer of being active outdoors!
As we mentioned in a recent article, "Walk for Your Health," physical activity is so important for our health.
Are you living with type 2 diabetes? Whether newly diagnosed or working through new or changing symptoms, living with diabetes can be challenging. Better Choices, Better Health(R) Diabetes, a program developed by Stanford University and offered by the National Council on Aging, may be just what you're looking for! This program may help you:
Better Choices, Better Health(R) Diabetes is currently being offered at NO COST for participants. This online program requires an internet connection and participants log-on 2-3 times per week for approximately 2 hours total each week.
Another self-management resource for persons with diabetes living in southwest Missouri, is to take an in-person Diabetes Self-Management Program course. This course is taught by lay leaders and runs for 2.5 hours each week for 6 weeks. To learn more about upcoming course offerings in the Springfield and Ava, Missouri areas, please click here or contact Heather Scott, Southwest Missouri RAC Coordinator.
How much are you walking each day? Whether you are just walking or wheeling to the mailbox or to the end of the driveway to get your paper every day, or if you are actively making an effort to go on a walk most days of the week, most of us spend more time than we think on the move. This is important to our health! The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (CDC) recommends that all adults, even those with disabilities, get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity, aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking) per week.
Free six-week course begins July 2 in Springfield and July 16 in Mountain View.
Are you having trouble managing your diabetes? If you’re not careful, it can lead to life-threatening complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and even amputation. To help the community take control of the disease, the Southwest Missouri Regional Arthritis Center will present “Living Healthy with Diabetes,” a six-week course that begins Wednesday, July 2. Participants will learn how to do the following:
The free course will run from 1-3:30 p.m. each Wednesday starting July 2 through August 6. Each session will be held at Mercy Health Plans, located at 4520 S. National Ave. in Springfield. Space is limited; call (417) 888-6787 to register.
The Mtn. View class run each Wednesday starting July 16 through August 20 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Each session will be held at Mercy-St. Francis at 100 U.S. 60 in Mtn. View. Space is limited; call (417) 934-7010 to register.
The $20 fee for each course has been waived, thanks to a grant from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Participants will also receive a free book, “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.”
Anchored by a Congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities.
The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.
What can you do to get involved with Men’s Health Month and take steps to improve your health? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you:
For men with chronic conditions, check out these resources:
Do you struggle with chronic pain? While the majority of us experience pain for a limited amount of time, usually associated with a specific event (fall, sporting injury, overuse, poor body mechanics), there are many who experience pain on a regular basis. Persons with arthritis often experience chronic pain near inflamed or damaged joints. Like other chronic health conditions, chronic pain can affect your quality of life and impact your daily routine. Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint where your pain is and/or why you are experiencing chronic pain.
A new resource, PainSpot, may help individuals with chronic pain identify their source of pain, more clearly describe their symptoms of pain to their health care provider, and identify potential causes of their pain. When you go to www.painspot.com, you can identify as a male or female, identify the spot(s) where you feel pain, and answer questions about this pain. Upon doing so, several possible conditions associated with the type of pain you described are provided.
This online tool may be beneficial for persons with chronic pain to improve their quality of life and the state of their health. Take a look and let us know what you think!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program
May 5, 2014 (888) 702-8818
Ready . . . Set . . . Action! Take Steps to Better Health In May During Arthritis Action Month.
Nationally, Arthritis Action Month is celebrated each May. Throughout May 2014, Missouri will join other states in raising awareness about the various forms of arthritis. This month is a great time for individuals to make personal action plans to help change the course of their arthritis. Evidence shows that self-management education and physical activities can help reduce pain, increase mobility and improve the quality of life for adults with arthritis. You may find your first step to better health is to learn more about arthritis and to understand what other things are connected to this chronic health condition.
Individuals with arthritis may have another chronic health condition, like diabetes or heart disease. Adults with arthritis may also have other risk factors that are known to be linked with arthritis, such as obesity, physically inactivity, and smoking. A connection that is not as well known, is adults with arthritis have a higher prevalence (it is more common) than adults without arthritis of falling once, more than once or being injured from a fall. Friday, May 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information in their MMWR report that it was especially more common for Missouri adults with arthritis to fall more than two times in a year or to have injuries from their fall than Missouri adults without arthritis (BRFSS, 2012). For adults with arthritis who have this greater risk of falls, it is important to take steps to better health.
One step you can take to improve your health is to join an existing physical activity program. According to the CDC, effective interventions to prevent falls can come in multiple steps, but the most effective strategies involve exercise or physical therapy. Physical activities that specifically address improving gait, balance and lower body strength have been shown to reduce the risk of falls (CDC). Through its seven Regional Arthritis Centers (RACs), the Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP) offers two physical activity programs locally around the state.
The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is a group format course offered by trained leaders in six-week increments, meeting two to three times per week. Some sites choose to offer the program year round to participants. Topics covered include: range-of-motion, flexibility, balance, strengthening and endurance-building activities; relaxation techniques; and health education topics.
The Walk With Ease program is offered in group or independent formats. In the group course, trained leaders work with participants three times a week over the course of six weeks. For the independent course, individuals use a workbook three times a week over a six-week period. Topics include pain management; walking routine development; stretching, warming up and cooling down.
All courses are offered year-round and are designed for individuals with risk factors for, including physical inactivity and falls, or with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes and heart disease. Courses meet participants at their personal level – whether newly diagnosed, with a controlled condition, or not yet diagnosed. Individuals with multiple chronic health conditions may find additional benefit from these courses as they learn how their conditions interact and can impact their overall health. Self-management courses can also be beneficial for caregivers or family of those with chronic conditions or at risk of falling.
For a complete schedule of courses offered and to learn more, click on your region at: www.moarthritis.org/regional-arthritis-centers.html. If a course isn’t listed in your area, contact your RAC by calling the toll-free line at 1-888-702-8818 or via the website at www.moarthritis.org to begin a group or get added to a waiting list. You can also contact your RAC to find out more about becoming a program leader. Find out more about MAOP programs by checking out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MOArthritis.
Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program
Do you have trouble with sticking to your goals? Developing an action plan may be beneficial to you! But what exactly is an action plan anyway? An action plan is a document that lists what steps must be taken in order to achieve a specific goal. An action plan clarifies what resources are required to reach that goal, while also providing a timeline that outlines when tasks need to be achieved.
You may be asking yourself, “how do I create an action plan?” Stanford University has taken the guess work out of creating an action plan by developing an application that will help you to self-manage your long-term goals or chronic illnesses right from the palm of your hand. My Action Planner is available on both iTunes and the Google Play Store. This app is designed for both Apple and Android devices.
My Action Planner is user friendly. Once you have downloaded the app, each week you simply describe your plan and then update your progress daily. At the end of the week, you then evaluate your progress, and that’s it!
Designed by Stanford, the same institution who brought us the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, My Action Planner will help you manage your health and help you make the changes you want to in order to live a happier, healthier life! Visit the My Action Planner website to learn more or to view a tutorial for your device.
In case you want to develop an action plan on your own, make sure it includes:
For example: This week I will walk (what) around the block (how much) before lunch (when) three times (how many).
A good action plan should also include how confident you are in what you are doing. Rank how confident you are on a scale from 0-10 (0 = not at all confident; 10 = totally confident)
April is the perfect month to get moving! There are upcoming classes in several areas of the state this month. Sign up today for a class near you!
If you would like to learn more or to sign up for a class in your area, please feel free to contact your nearest RAC at:
Northeast RAC- Doris Fountain
Kansas City RAC-Orvie Prewitt
Southwest RAC-Heather Scott
Today, April 2, is National Walking Day 2014! This day, established by the American Heart Association, kicks off a "season" of outdoor activity, especially walking. While most of us in Missouri had a rainy start to the day, the rain has cleared off, providing a chance to get out and walk outdoors! The challenge posed by the American Heart Association through National Walking Day, is for individuals to lace up their sneakers and get outside today to walk for at least 30 minutes.