Dianne’s tips for staying motivated to keep moving
With OA, once it hurts, your body lets go and gives in. Exercise is a cheap remedy, but when I’m in pain, sometimes going out for a walk is the last thing I want to do. That’s when you’ve got to have some tools ready to help you keep moving even when it hurts.
Here’s how I stay motivated to keep moving.
For me, finding a community to be part of has been important. At the Wellness Center where I work out, there is such a diverse group of members with people at all fitness levels exercising right next to each other. Everyone is so friendly and encouraging, and I need that external motivation. Even if I’m not directly talking to the other people there, it’s like we have a partnership and are supporting each other.
Walk With A Doc (WWAD) is another really great way for me to keep moving. It’s such a fantastic program. WWAD is friendly. You don’t have to know anyone. You’re immediately accepted and you get to talk to doctors in an informal setting while you’re walking. You feel like they’re really listening to you, and it’s just a fun time together.
Another thing I do is try to stay in a routine. For me, I prefer to get up and get going in the morning. I like to take my walks with our dog, Luke, in the morning. This is just part of my day and gets me off to a good start. It also guarantees that I get some exercise in even if I don’t make it to the Wellness Center later in the day.
Something I used to do more when I was younger but I found really helpful was to lay out my exercise clothes and walking shoes the night before. They would be the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning and I didn’t have to think about whether or not I was going to get out there to exercise. Sometimes I would even write an encouraging note to myself and leave it on top of my clothes to find the next morning.
Keeping a positive attitude helps, too, but more on that in another post.
Honorary Co-Chair, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance