After a long winter, do you need inspiration to get outside and walk? The Walk to Cure Arthritis is held in about 150 communities nationwide, so it’s likely one is taking place near you this May. As the snow banks melt and we reclaim our roads and sidewalks, now is the time to get ready. The goal is not only to walk a 5K, but to raise funds to support programs and research to help people with arthritis.
One way to get motivated is to create a team. Invite friends, family members or co-workers to join you in the walk. Decide on a catchy team name or dedicate the team’s walk to someone you know who has arthritis. By having a team, you raise the fun factor and increase accountability. You’re more likely to get out and walk in the weeks leading up to — and after — the big day if you have a group and can meet on a regular basis. Imagine the conversations you’ll have!
Set up a walking schedule, increase your distance gradually, and listen to your body. If you feel a little sore or stiff at first, use a microwave heating pad to soothe tight muscles before and after you walk. If you have sore knees, a gentle ice pack may ease the pain and reduce inflammation. A stretching routine and a good pair of properly fitting sneakers will help too.