FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program
May 7, 2013 (888) 702-8818
Take Action to Improve Your Health! Increase Your Awareness of Arthritis and Jump Start Your Summer by Staying Active During Arthritis Action Month
The month of May marks Arthritis Action Month nationally. Throughout the month, individuals are encouraged to make personal actions to change the course of their arthritis. May is also a great time to raise our awareness of this chronic health condition. Adults who have arthritis can use physical activity as a step in their self-management plan to help reduce pain and increase their mobility.
While there are many forms of beneficial physical activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends walking. According to the CDC, walking has been shown to improve arthritis symptoms, physical function, gait speed, and quality of life. Friday, the CDC released information in their MMWR report that over half of adults with arthritis in all states walk less than 90 minutes per week. In fact, among adults with arthritis in 38 states, over 50% did not walk at all. In Missouri, 75% of adults with arthritis walk less than 90 minutes per week with over 56% of those adults not walking at all. Make it a priority in May to help change the statistics!
One thing you can do to take action to improve your health is to join an existing walking event or program. In Missouri, the Arthritis Walk®, the Arthritis Foundation’s (AF) signature event, helps to raise funds and awareness of the nation’s leading cause of disability – arthritis. If you live in the St. Louis area or didn’t make the May 4th Kansas City walk, the 2013 Arthritis Walk – St. Louis will be Friday, May 17th at 6:30 pm at the Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri. For more information on this event and how to participate in St. Louis, visit www.arthritis.org/programs-events/arthritis-walk/.
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 or with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. 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.
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