On October 12, 2006, People With Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE) Manifesto will be coordinating the largest World Arthritis Day Campaign to date. Arthritis associations all over Europe and as far away as the United Arab Emirates will be participating in activities to raise awareness of arthritis, urging people with symptoms of arthritis to seek early advice from their doctors and to rally national governments and other policy makers to improve standards of care. You can visit their website for more information.
Since regular exercise has tremendous benefits for people with arthritis, this year’s World Arthritis Day is focusing on exercise with a campaign theme of “Take Action!” The World Arthritis Day website contains several fact sheets about exercise for people with different forms of arthritis, and activities with local organizations are focused on encouraging people to exercise. The organization is also conducting a survey to get feedback from patients on the factors that prevent people with arthritis from participating in exercise. You can find the survey here.
I am always surprised by the number of people who think only older people get arthritis or ask me if my rheumatoid arthritis came from playing sports. Just today someone asked me why surgery would help if it is a chronic disease. I am hopeful that more groups like the Arthritis Foundation and other local organizations will really get involved in Word Arthritis Day in the future to both raise awareness among the general population and to help influence public policy to ensure better health insurance coverage for people with chronic illnesses and finding ways to reduce the costs of medications, especially the new, very expensive biotech TNF-inhibitors.
Over the last seven months I have written several blogs about the benefits of arthritis for kids and adults, including one with tips for incorporating more exercise into one’s life, geared toward people like me who really don’t care for (or can’t) work out at a gym. I’m like a lot of people, I’m really good for a few weeks and then I get busy or have a flare and I don’t work out for a few weeks. I hate to admit it, but people are right when they say that they definitely feel the difference. If I don’t at least do stretching exercises every few days my knees and hips begin to get tense and sore when I walk. And since I am currently between gyms and the days are getting shorter, I take the opportunity on weekends to get out to a nice local park and walk around the lake. There are always lots of people and their dogs and it’s encouraging to see so many other people out there of all ages and activity levels. I also have been renting a different exercise video from my online video store each week, just to keep from getting bored. This week I rented a Tahitian dance/workout video. What a kick!
If you haven’t seen my blogs before, maybe they and the information on exercise from World Arthritis Day will inspire you to make a fresh commitment to exercising. I have attached the blogs here:
April 26th: Tips for Getting More Exercise
April 25th: More Than 1/3 of Adults with RA Are Inactive
June 29th: Children with RA Benefit from Exercise and Sports
Published On: October 12, 2006