When you have arthritis, exercising may seem difficult and as if it’s the wrong kind of activity, you might end up jarring your joints. Well, you can’t go wrong with starting a walking program. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that strengthens your bones, improves your cardiovascular health, gives you more stamina, boosts mood, helps you sleep and maybe best of all, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can slim you down.
One of the best ways to reduce arthritis pain is by taking off excess pounds. The more you weigh, the more stress you are putting on your joints, especially your hips, knees, back and feet.
Experts say you need to take around 10,000 steps per day in order to reap steady weight loss benefits. Does that seem overwhelming? Well, no worries. Start with a minimum of 2,000 steps a day (a 15-minute walk). Each week, add 500 steps until you reach the goal of 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles or 75 minutes) per day. You can break it down and take it at a more leisurely pace:
Walk the dog three times a day for 15-minutes, which equals around 6,000 steps.
March in place while you’re watching television. One 60-minute sitcom equals around 8,000 steps.
Clean the house for 30-minutes, which equals about 4,000 steps.
As you progress to additional steps per day, try interval walking, incorporating short bursts of speed into a moderately paced walk, to burn more calories in the same amount of time. In a recent study, women who performed interval workouts lost three times as much body fat as women who exercised at a continuous pace.4 For added inspiration, consider investing in a pedometer which will register how many steps you’re taking.
Remember; before you commit to a new exercise routine, speak with your health care provider.
Check out www.ArthritisSmartMoves.com for other healthy lifestyle ideas.