We’ve all tried starting a new exercise program only to make it a week or two before slowing down or dropping it altogether. Arthritis compounds the problem further, often making it difficult or painful to walk entirely. Ironically, a lack of exercise can exacerbate the symptoms and gradually make the condition worse. If you really want to get started on an exercise regimen, plan it right, and set yourself up for success.
Walking is one of the best forms of osteoarthritis exercises, because it’s low-impact, can be done anywhere, and completely free! Getting started on a regular walking plan will help ease your OA pain through staying active and losing excess weight. Here’s how to get started:
- Consult your doctor first. It is extremely important to speak with your doctor prior to getting started with an exercise regimen. Your doctor knows and understands your condition, and can advise you better than anyone else.
- Ease into it. This is especially important if you are starting a program after being relatively sedentary for a period of time. Rushing into things can lead to injury and burn-out, both of which will halt progress in the long run. Start with about 3 walks per week, at 30 minutes a pop. After a couple of weeks add more walks in until you are getting one each day.
- Modify your plan. If you find it difficult to devote a large chunk of time at once for exercise, break it into smaller pieces throughout the day. You don’t necessarily have to walk at the same time, or even at the same pace every day.
- Eat right. Diet is an essential component of any exercise regimen. Eating right will not only fuel your workout, but it will help bring about those results much quicker.
Walking your way to less pain and weight is far easier than you think. Don’t worry about the specifics at first, just get started! Before you know it, those walks will be an essential part of your everyday lifestyle.
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