Walking is a great way to exercise; it is low impact and you can do it anywhere, at any time. Walking regularly could help to improve your strength and stamina, keep your joints mobile, aid weight loss and improve your confidence. To get the most health benefits, walk regularly and over a certain distance for a set amount of time.
- Build walking into your daily routine – get off public transport a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
- Make sure you buy well-fitting shoes for support and use assistive devices if needed, such as canes, sticks or poles.
- Always remember to do a few warm-up and cool down stretches before and after walking.
- Walk with friends, take a dog or listen to music to get you in the mood, but keep to your own pace.
- Sign up for a sponsored walk and set yourself a target.
- Stay motivated by taking different routes and planning your walks.
- If you are having a flare, have undergone joint surgery recently or are experiencing joint problems, you should check with your doctor, surgeon or physiotherapist whether you need to take a break from walking.
This is general advice for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), but individuals may have specific problems. Always speak to your doctor or physiotherapist before you start a new form of exercise.
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