Five top tips for staying active with arthritis

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain, affects more than 18 million people living in the UK. 

Research has shown that regular exercise can help to ease stiffness and pain, strengthen your bones and joints and boost feelings of wellbeing. But sometimes arthritis symptoms can make it difficult to stay active.

We’ve pulled together some top tips for getting and staying active if you’re living with arthritis:

1. Build up slowly

When you’re tired or in pain it can be difficult to feel motivated to get moving. This January, start small and do a little more each time.

Gentle walking is a great way to start exercising, but don’t be surprised if it feels challenging at the beginning.

For more tips on how to get started with exercise watch this video from Versus Arthritis.

It can be helpful to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. One of the best ways of doing this is through day-to-day activities around the house – from chores to waiting for the kettle to boil, there’s always a way to bring movement into the day. You can see examples of how to introduce movement into your routine here.

2. Choose something that’s right for you

Everybody is different and the key to making exercise a part of your daily life is finding an activity which is right for you and that you enjoy.

The Let’s Move dedicated forum on the Versus Arthritis Online Community is a safe space for people with arthritis to share their exercise experiences. Read tips around staying active and doing the exercises you love.

Versus Arthritis also offers a wide-range of resources to support you getting active as well as exercises for different body parts.

3. Build movement into a routine

January is a great time of year to build new routines and set new goals.

Versus Arthritis is offering an exercise programme called Let’s Move with Leon, a free 12 week email journey. Each week you will receive a 30 minute video containing a movement routine led by fitness expert Leon Wormley, straight to your inbox! It’s so easy and can help set up a great new routine to look forward to.

Leon has particular expertise in supporting people living with musculoskeletal conditions to get active. It is suitable for everyone, even if you are just starting out. Leon is joined by his mum Janet who has arthritis.

Together they walk you through the different exercises and give their top tips on how to adapt to whatever works best for you.

Sign up to Let’s Move with Leon

4. Join a community of people with arthritis with similar goals

Living with arthritis can be isolating, especially when those around you don’t understand the pain and fatigue you’re living with.

Getting active with others can be huge motivator. You can share your physical activity journey on the Versus Arthritis Facebook group, Let’s Move Versus Arthritis, and get to know others. It’s a great way to share goals and stay motivated.

Keep an eye out for regular live sessions including gentle stretches and Q&As with experts too.

5. Manage your pain at home

We know that staying active can be more challenging when you’re in pain, and we are all likely to be spending lots of time at home at the moment. Versus Arthritis have developed this blog on managing pain at home which includes tips and information on exercise.

Check out these exercises to help with managing pain for different areas of the body on the Versus Arthritis website.

The new year can be a great time to try something new and set some different goals. And remember, if you need to talk and some extra support, Versus Arthritis can help:


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