As a result of a fast-moving virus, our lives have slowed. Americans – and people all over the globe – are staying home. We are no longer rushing out the door in the morning to drop kids at school, hurry to the office, jump from meeting to meeting, battle rush-hour traffic on the way home, make a meal for dinner (preferably in 30-minutes or less!), fall into bed, and do it all again the next day.
Events are being canceled. There have been no graduations, sports tournaments, or spring break vacations. It’s unprecedented, to say the least. When we think we have started to adapt, things change.
The slowed pace, altered schedules, and adjusted expectations don’t mean, however, that we can discontinue management of our health and/or chronic conditions, such as Osteoarthritis (OA). Right now, amidst the social distancing, quarantining, and uncertainty, 1 in 7 adults are also working to manage their OA symptoms.1
According to the National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis: 2020 Update, four evidence-based public health interventions are considered the first line of therapy for OA:
- Self-management education
- Physical activity
- Weight management
- Injury prevention.2
Luckily, all of these strategies are both applicable and achievable during these challenging and changing times. They just might look a little different.
Let’s focus on one of the four recommended public health strategies: physical activity
Right now, many gyms, recreation facilities, swimming pools, and other settings focused on exercise, are closed. People are turning to at-home workouts and activities that they can do within or just outside their own homes.
As research shows us, people with OA can and should take part in physical activity. It is, in fact, one of the most effective strategies to manage common OA symptoms such as pain and stiffness.3 That being said, some forms of exercise are considered more beneficial than others, one of which is walking.