Sponsored content by Sanofi Genzyme.
Healthy joints are important for our health. They allow us to do the things in life that bring us joy and happiness. While exercise and physical activity can protect joint health, many of us are simply not active enough. We may choose to drive to the store instead of walking or sit on the couch rather than spend time in the yard. If that sounds familiar, then it’s time to ask yourself – what’s holding me back from getting up and moving? What would motivate me to get started?
The first thing to remember is that being physically active doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon or play a competitive sport. There are many healthful activities that you can do right now to help strengthen your joints and muscles, including walking, biking, swimming, lifting weights, yoga, and even work around the house and yard. Pick an activity you will enjoy – that should inspire you to get moving. Do you like being outdoors? Then go for a hike in your local state park. Or start a garden in your backyard. If you’re not the outdoors type, then sign up for a gym membership or a tai chi class. You can even get active right in your living room, whether you’re walking in place while streaming your favorite show or vacuuming the floor.
Establishing a routine is another effective way to boost your motivation. Over time, that healthy habit –such as walking every morning before work – will simply become part of your normal day. Start out slowly and set goals. For example, you can commit to walking around the block for a week. Then, make it two blocks for the second week. Before you know it, you might be regularly walking several miles a day without much effort. Regular moderate exercise also has another benefit – it can help with losing weight, which can take a lot of strain off of your knees. Just remember to listen to your body, don’t push yourself too much, and work with your doctor when starting any new exercise regimen.
Are you having trouble starting by yourself? Find a partner. Having a friend or family member by your side, whether at the gym or on a hike, will make the time more enjoyable. You’ll be encouraged to stick with your activity when you know there’s someone who will share the time with you. And when you find a partner, maybe inject the time with some competition. Research suggests a little competitive spirit does inspire people to stay physically active. This could include setting fitness goals and encouraging each other to achieve them and providing small incentives and rewards for reaching those goals.,
People living with hemophilia should incorporate some level of physical activity into their lives, but remember to first talk to your healthcare provider about what level of activity is most appropriate to maintaining your physical wellbeing and protecting your joint health. So, what will you do to motivate yourself to get started?
MAT-US-2106980 v1.0 09/2021