Fitness

Regular exercise offers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Makes weight loss easier
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Decreases risk of heart and stroke disease
  • Improves your mood
  • Makes you feel great.

The Tackle Gout Training Plan

The Tackle Gout Training Plan is a simple, straightforward, effective approach to getting fit.

PRO Tip: If you’ve been sedentary, or “on the couch” for a while, feel you are out of shape, or have problems with joint function or other health issues, it’s smart to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Ask for advice on specific types of exercise, how often to work out and how long to work out each session.

Aerobic Training Goals

Your Starting Goal: Start at a pace and frequency appropriate for your current health and abilities, and work up from there, in increments, to reach the 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity recommended in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (that’s just 22 minutes a day, every day, OR 30 minutes a day 5 days a week).

Your Mid-level Training Goal: Slowly increase the intensity of your daily exercise (for example, by walking at a slightly faster pace, trying small hills, or using the incline setting on your treadmill).

Your Pro Training Goal: Consistently stick with your exercise. Stay motivated by finding ways to vary your daily activities. Try something new, take a different walking route and work at different intensities.

Training Tips

Take a hike! Get outside and walk (or hit the treadmill) to start working up to your 150 minutes a week.

Choose your location: Depending on where you live, you may prefer to walk outdoors, indoors on a treadmill or join a gym. Some people will go outside in good weather but stay inside during the winter months.

Pick your partner: Do you prefer your own company, a walking partner, or would you rather join a group? Investigate your options and make the choice that will motivate you.

Join a program: Try the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program. It’s a walking program proven to reduce pain and improve function in people with arthritis, and you can follow it solo or in a group.

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Choose a time: It’s best to exercise at the same time every day. Early morning, lunchtime, after work – it doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you.

Get good shoes: A good pair of walking shoes is a must to avoid sore feet, blisters or other foot problems. Visit a store that specializes in athletic or walking shoes, if you are unsure which shoes would be best for you.

Start slow: Take it easy at first. If you haven’t exercised at all recently, you might want to start with a slow ten or fifteen minute stroll.

Keep going: The most important part of your exercise program is consistency. Keep at it. If you miss a day, don’t worry too much. Just get back on track as soon as you can.

Increase gradually: The rule of thumb is to increase your distance or your time or your speed – only one of these three – by no more than 10% per week. If you start out walking a slow ten minutes, don’t push yourself to double your time the following week. Bit by bit, increase the time of your walk until you reach 30 minutes, five days a week. Then you can start walking farther and faster.

Listen to your body: If you’re feeling energetic, it’s okay to push yourself a little. If you’re under the weather, take it a little easier. Remember that exercise may make your heart beat faster and make you breathe harder, but it’s never supposed to hurt or make you struggle to catch your breath.

Write it down. Keep a written log of your program, including the date, how long you walked, and if you like, how far and how fast (a pedometer can help with the last two). That way you can track when you reach your Starting Goal, then start tackling your Mid-Level Training Goal, and finally your Pro Training Goal. Progress—and sticking with it—is satisfying!

Pro Tip: Join an Arthritis Walk in your area. It’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself, make friends and support others with arthritis. Go online to find the date and location.

Pro Tip: Add variety: Different types of activities offer different benefits. Try strength training, yoga, tai chi or other fitness programs to create a well-rounded program that includes strength, endurance and flexibility.