Regular exercise provides many benefits — including less osteoarthritis knee pain and more energy to do the things that are important to you. Yet, knowing exercise is good for you and actually doing it are two different things, and it can be hard to get going when your schedule is jam-packed and your joints are begging for a little rest and relaxation. So how do you get yourself going and keep yourself motivated?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a strong body. Start with a walk to the corner and back, or five minutes with an exercise video. Praise yourself for getting started — and then keep the momentum going. Gradually add a little to the time and/or intensity with which you exercise.
If 30 minutes of exercise a day is daunting, try breaking it up into three 10-minute sessions. You’ll still reap the benefits.
If the same exercise day after day leaves you bored, try varying your activities. When walking, take different routes through your own neighborhood, or alternate with walks in other neighborhoods that have wide, level sidewalks. Or go to a nearby park or mall.
Exercise can be fun if you’re doing what you enjoy — tossing a ball with your children or grandchildren, working in your garden, playing in the pool or going to the zoo. When your favorite leisure activities are also good exercise, be sure to plan more of them.
People who adjust their exercise routine to accommodate their osteoarthritis are more likely to keep exercising than those who don’t. Avoid an all-or-nothing mentality. If your knees hurt, resolve to walk more slowly and avoid hills. If you’re stiff in the morning, then exercise in the evening.
Knowing that a friend is waiting on your doorstep or meeting you at the gym creates an obligation. Find someone who shares your goals, then encourage each other. Look forward to your dates to exercise.
If fear of pain makes you anxious about exercising, you may give up too soon. Take time to warm up and stretch before you start. Breathe deeply when working out. Practice a little positive self-talk. For example, “I can do this, and I’ll be stronger and more confident after I do.”
When you reach a milestone in your newly adopted plan — say, you’ve consistently exercised three times a week for a month — treat yourself to a night out at the movies or some new music for your MP3 player. When you make major milestones, up the indulgence factor by going for a spa treatment or buying tickets to see your favorite team in action.
It’s easier to keep exercising if you’re working toward a goal. Imagine a moment in the future — crossing the finish line at the Arthritis Foundation’s 3K Arthritis Walk event, dancing at your daughter’s wedding or just bending to tie your shoes without serious strain.
PLEASE NOTE: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to take the place of the advice of your doctor. By providing you with this information, Genzyme Corporation is not endorsing its content. You should consult with your doctor before starting any new health regimen.
Adapted from Arthritis Today®, the health magazine published by the Arthritis Foundation®. The views presented herein are solely those of Arthritis Today and their publisher the Arthritis Foundation. Genzyme Corporation does not have any input in, or editorial control over Arthritis Today and is not responsible for its content. Arthritis Today is a registered trademark of the Arthritis Foundation.
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Watch these simple exercises, designed specifically for knees with osteoarthritis, and add them to your daily routine.
Watch knee exercise videos
Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) and SYNVISC® (hylan G-F 20) are indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen.
Before trying Synvisc-One or SYNVISC, tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds — such as feathers, eggs or poultry — or if your leg is swollen or infected. Synvisc-One and SYNVISC are only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Synvisc-One and SYNVISC have not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment. Synvisc-One and SYNVISC have not been tested in children, pregnant women or women who are nursing. You should tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant or if you are nursing a child. The side effects most commonly seen when Synvisc-One or SYNVISC is injected into the knee were pain, swelling and/or fluid buildup in or around the knee. Cases where the swelling is extensive or painful should be discussed with your doctor. Allergic reactions such as rash and hives have been reported rarely.
View the Complete Prescribing Information for Synvisc-One (PDF)
View the Complete Prescribing Information for SYNVISC (PDF)
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