Walking is an excellent and simple form of exercise that is good for nearly everyone, from absolute beginners to people who have been physically fit for years. Walking is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for people with arthritis and it can be done for free anywhere!
What can walking do for you?
- Strengthen your heart and lungs
- Nourish your joints
- Bulid your bones
- Fight osteoporosis
- Burn calories
- Control your weight
- Reduce your stress
- Improve your mood
- Boost your energy levels.
- How much is enough?
It is recommended that people with arthritis get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical at least 3 days a week. You can get activity in 10-minute intervals.
Plan for your Success
S= Start Low and go Slow
The key to starting a walking programme safely is to start low and go slow.
M = Modify walking as needed
Any activity is better than none! If you are having a bad day your arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness and fatigue may be worse and you may not feel like walking. Before you abandon your walk modify it – decrease the distance or time you walk e.g. 15mins instead of 10.
A = Always be ‘Joint Friendly’
Protect your joints by always warming up and cooling down before and after your walk. Always wear properly fitted walking shoes with good support.
R = Recognise safe places to walk
Safety is always important when walking. If you are walking alone make sure the area is well lit, separated from heavy traffic and with an unobstructed and even walking path. Walking with a buddy and with an Arthritis Ireland Walking group is a preferable option for safety, motivation and it is very sociable.
T= Talk to your health professional
Before starting any exercise programme speak to your doctor first. Arthritis Ireland has a nationwide network of walking groups designed especially for people with arthritis. You can find our walking group closest to you by clicking here. For any additional walking questions and support call our helpline on 1890 252 846 .
No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch!
Orla Tiernan is Arthritis Ireland’s Community Manager. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org