To mark the start of National Arthritis Week 2012, Arthritis Ireland is teaming up with Paralympic triple medallist Helen Kearney to the encourage people living with arthritis to get active as it launched a brand new website dedicated to exercising with arthritis.
The online resource (www.arthritisandexercise.ie), which has been supported by Pfizer as part of the ‘Moving Is the Best Medicine’ campaign, will provide people with all of the information they need to exercise safely, as well as motivational tips and allow them to find out what support services, like the Arthritis Ireland walking groups, are available in Co Leitrim.
Things to know about exercise and arthritis this National Arthritis Week (October 8th-15th):
• Although it may seem counter-intuitive, exercise is proven to be essential in reducing the pain and inflammation of arthritis.
• It is surprising how easily exercise can be incorporated into daily life. Activities, such as gardening, vacuuming or taking the stairs instead of the lift, all count as part of the recommended 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week.
• More gentle forms of exercise like walking, swimming or yoga, are better for joint health. That is why Arthritis Ireland has established a nationwide network of walking groups specially designed for people with arthritis.
• It is vital that regular exercise is complemented with a balanced diet as being overweight doubles a person’s risk of suffering from knee osteoarthritis, while being obese quadruples it.
Launching the campaign, Helen Kearney (aged 23), from Dunlavin in Co Wicklow, who won one silver and two bronze in equestrian and dressage at the Paralympics in London said: “Being active is a major part of how I have dealt with my condition and how I have lived my life.
“Nobody becomes a top athlete overnight but I would encourage people to start with a small amount of exercise, do it regularly, set goals and over time they may surprise themselves with what they can do!”
The www.arthritisandexercise.ie website is the latest element of Arthritis Ireland’s ‘Moving Is the Best Medicine’ campaign, which has also included the roll out of a series of motivational ‘Exercise Made Easy’ seminars around the country and the publication of the ‘Physical Activity and Arthritis’ information booklet.