If you are an individual who is affected by one of the more than 100 types of arthritis, has chronic pain, contends with one or more chronic health condition (not limited to arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease), or are a caregiver for an individual with any of the above listed conditions, you may be looking for a way to relieve pain. One way you can relieve your pain is through physical activity. This may seem counter-intuitive; why fight pain with more pain? Physical activity should not equal pain. There are many resources you can ask for help in developing a personalized plan to increase physical activity.
- Talk with your health care provider.
- Ask an employee at a fitness center for assistance in developing a plan.
- Learn how to use fitness equipment appropriately.
- Work with other health care staff, like physical therapists, as needed.
Additionally, there are many great organizations who recommend an increase in physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends we Be Physically Active in the New Year, and staff from the Arthritis Foundation recently published a public policy article that encourages Increasing Physical Activity among Adults with Arthritis. There is an even a push through the Affordable Care Act to support healthy lifestyles by improving our workplace wellness. You can read more on this push in the December issue of Preventing Chronic Disease here.
It can be easy to say "I'll start tomorrow" or "I just don't feel like it today". If that is how you are feeling, perhaps one of these two success stories for behavior change can help motivate you to start making positive changes today, even if it's just for 10 minutes of physical activity!