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(BPT) – For Lehigh Valley residents coping with pain, such as joint pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA), you may feel like you’ve been sitting out on life. Pain can make you reluctant to participate in activities that you enjoy and miss out on connecting with those you love. Any pain or surgical recovery issues may hinder your ability to navigate stairs and enjoy your whole house. Experts will tell you that if you can move, even just a little more than you do now, you will reap benefits well beyond the physical.

“Movement is not just a powerful and effective tool for pain management,” says personal trainer Pete McCall, NASM-CPT, PES, and Voltaren spokesperson. “Movement also brings people together. Getting out and moving with others can help reduce pain, but more importantly, it will also help you stay motivated and feel connected.”

But how can you start, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while?

“Start slow,” says McCall, “and listen to your body. Mild aches after engaging your joints for the first time in a while may be expected, but if you experience persistent or sharp pain, connect with your healthcare provider. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.”

Here are tips for increasing your activity level to help with pain management and feel more connected with others.

Consider working with a personal trainer.

Starting an exercise program with an experienced personal trainer can help you customize your workouts for your individual needs and comfort level. Sometimes just talking through your pain and concerns with a trained professional can be very helpful.

Start with low-impact exercise.

Walking, swimming, and biking, are all low-impact exercises that are easier on your joints — and that you can do with other people. Start with short sessions at a comfortable pace, gradually increasing the number of times you exercise per week, along with the length of time and intensity of your workouts. Don’t feel the need to push too fast too soon. The key is to build consistency over time.

Join a community centered around movement — or create one.

Whether it’s at an exercise class, yoga center, or walking club, getting together with others who are also focusing on their well-being can be encouraging and even fun. If you don’t find the kind of group or class you want in your area, consider starting your own! Ask like-minded friends or family members to join you for regular walks, outdoor games, or visits to your community pool, to help keep you on track and turn exercise into a social event.

Warm up first, and cool down after exercise.

You should always begin your exercise session with gentle movement and stretching to help you ease into your physical activity and prevent injury. After working out, take time to cool down by reducing the intensity of your exercise, then ending with stretches.

Seek pain relief options.

If you have osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that affects the joints, you may experience pain, stiffness, or swelling in areas such as your hands, wrists, knees, or ankles. One pain relief option is Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel, an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) gel that is clinically proven to relieve joint pain, reduce stiffness, and increase mobility. You apply the prescription-strength gel directly to the site of pain associated with arthritis to deliver pain relief in the hand, wrist, elbow, foot, ankle, or knee. Apply Voltaren four times per day to help relieve arthritis pain all day long.

Don’t sit out on life.

If you see an opportunity to try a new sport, join a dance class, go on a nature hike, or participate in a charity walking event — say “yes” to movement. Not only could it help relieve some of your pain, but it will make you feel that sense of connection to others that will boost your mood and encourage you to keep going on your wellness journey.

“You may be surprised by where movement can take you,” says McCall. “I’ve never had a client say they regret getting started — only that they wish they’d started sooner.”

The Power Stair Lifts expert technology team proudly and dependably installs and services bariatric stair lift systems. We are experienced in matching clients’ needs with the best products, and we ensure proper installation, comfort, and familiarity with users and their families.

For helpful tips to help you make the right decisions, please read the following articles.

If you believe you or a loved one needs a reliable custom stair lift for large individuals, please call Power Stair Lifts for a free in-home assessment. We will recommend the best fit for the individual and the home’s available space and structure.

Please be sure to visit these other helpful resources:

Lifestyles over 50 — Expert senior content, resources, and care

Power Stair Lifts is a member of Lehigh Valley Aging in Placea resource helping families help seniors since 2005.

Grab Bar Pros — Safety solutions for bathrooms, entrances, and stairs