End the Summer Strong – Stay Active!

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. 

Take a daily walk or wheel near your home or place of employment.  This can be a great way to start or end your day, or could be a good mid-day break.  As the Missouri leaves begin to change color over the next few months, seek out a local state park and walk along its trails.  Enjoy the last few weeks of outdoor swimming pools being open. 

And, as the weather changes over the next few months, start considering how you can move an outdoor physical activity routine indoors.  The National Institute on Aging encourages us all to "Go4Life"; they provide many tip sheets for how we can stay motivated to stay physically active. It's important to remember that physical activity is for everyone.  As mentioned in a CDC Vital Signs report, adults with a disability are especially encouraged to get some form of physical activity.  While emotional and physical barriers may exist, it's important to talk with your health care provider (who would recommend physical activity) about these barriers and to develop a personal plan that works for your health and your ability level.

Enrolling in one of the Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis Program (MAOP) and its seven Regional Arthritis Centers' (RAC) physical activity programs may be one of your first Steps to Better Health.  The RACs offer a walking program called Walk With Ease that meets you where you are currently with your physical activity.  The program helps build you up to at least 30 minutes of walking, and includes important information on stretching, warming up, and cooling day.  The RACs also offer a general physical activity program called the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program.  This program meets for one hour two-three times per week and helps participants increase joint flexibility and their range-of-motion (exercises are modified to meet you at your level of ability).

If you have interest in taking a guided physical activity course, you can sign-up today for a group Walk With Ease or Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program class by contacting your RAC.  You can also register online if you would like to participate in the Walk With Ease program individually, either on your own or self-guided with a group of your family or friends.  No matter what physical activity option you choose, end the summer strong by staying active into the fall!

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