The Month Ahead: Celebrating Awareness
It's May. This means birds twittering, buds growing bigger every day and seriously contemplating not wearing socks. May is also something else very important for RAHealthCentral: Arthritis Awareness Month. We have exciting plans to share with you!
Kicking off the festivities is my interview with Dr. Patience White, VP of Public Health at The Arthritis Foundation. We had a very interesting conversation about the impact of different types of arthritis and what you can do to prevent being hard hit. Hint: physical activity is a key factor in prevention. And this is where our main project for this Arthritis Awareness Month can help.
The overall HealthCentral theme for May is being more physically active and losing weight in time for summer. Being physically active is important for everyone who lives with one of the 100 different types of arthritis — it increases mobility and strengthens muscles that can support your joints. But moving can also be a real challenge for people who live with the fatigue and pain of arthritis. How do you move when moving hurts?
Later this month, we will release a video showing how you can become more physically active. This video will have something for everyone, ranging from people who are in remission to those who are severely affected by RA. An extra surprise is that it stars the members of the RAHealthCentral team! You've read our words, now you get to see us in person! We also hope that you'll share your own videos of how you stay active on our Facebook page.
Leslie and I will follow up our video debut writing posts with more details about being physically active when you have RA. Both of us will share realistic tips from our own daily lives that you can use as inspiration to move more.
Chats & Community
We’re also celebrating Arthritis Awareness Month by having our first social media chats where you can ask me anything you want! The details are still being worked out, so check back on this site and on our Facebook page throughout the month for more information.
Connecting with others in the community is a big part of raising awareness. It makes us as individuals aware of how others lived with the different types of arthritis and it gives users the opportunity to work together to make the non-arthritis world aware of our reality. In a couple of weeks, I will profile an inspirational woman who became blind from complications from juvenile arthritis.
Arthritis is connected to many other health conditions. This month, writers from HealthCentral's other sites will explore how arthritis is connected to their area of expertise. We will create a special page for all the Arthritis Awareness posts appearing throughout the month of May.
May also marks awareness events for a number of other conditions. Closer to Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12, V will post about living with RA and a new diagnosis of fibromyalgia. May 10 is Lupus Day and Leslie will givers for more information about that disease. This is also Anxiety Awareness Month and Lisa will explore the topic of anxiety and living with a chronic illness.
We’ll make sure not to forget those singing birds and budding plants. Gardening is a terrific way to connect to nature, a sort of meditation that can help you cope. This month is the start of gardening season for most of us and we're going to celebrate that, too! Both Brad and V will post about gardening, giving you tips on how to get your hands in the dirt with RA.
You have several options to stay in touch with what's happening. Notices of new posts and upcoming events will be posted on our Facebook page. You can also bookmark the Arthritis Awareness page and check back on a regular basis. If you haven't yet, subscribe to our weekly newsletter that comes out every Thursday. You can find the subscriptions feature by clicking on My Home in the top right-hand corner of your screen and go to your profile. When you click on the My Settings tab, you'll see a link to manage your e-mail newsletters on the top right.
We're looking forward to sharing this exciting month with all of you. What are your plans for creating awareness?