NPR takes a look at how exercise and moving can assist individuals with arthritis. The article accompanying their media bit can be found here. While it may seem counter-intuitive to engage in physical activity when you are stiff, sore or have pain, many individuals with various forms of arthritis actually find it helpful and relieving to include movement in their daily lives. NPR's Patti Neighmond addresses two ways of beginning to include exercise in your regular routine; walking to build endurance and yoga or pilates to build strength.
The National Institute on Aging at NIH's website Go4Life addresses the other two types of exercise that should be included in your regular routine: balance and flexibility. Check out their website for suggestions of ways to incorporate endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility into your personal routine.
Not sure where to start with exercising? Have you heard conflicting opinions on how much physical activity you should be getting? The federal government released in 2008 their first ever "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans". The recommendation for adults and older adults is to take 150 minutes every week to engage in moderate intensity aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking or water aerobics). While 150 minutes seems like a lot, it can be helpful to think about it in smaller chunks, even as few as 10 minutes at a time. Taking 10 minute brisk walks at three times throughout the day five days a week would be one way of starting to include 150 minutes of moderate exercise into your regular routine. The recommendations also state that adults and older adults should do muscle-strengthening exercises at least 2 days of the week that work all major muscle groups. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide a nice overview to the physical activity guidelines. If you have any concern about incorporating physical activity into your personal routine, or you aren't sure where to start – talk with your health care provider!