Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Customized Exercise Program - My RA Fit Kit

I found an interesting site on the Internet yesterday.  I think I first heard of it in a TV commercial.  It is called My RA Fit Kit.  It is actually designed for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but anyone can use it. The site designs a customized exercise program, based on your current activity level, your interests and condition.
To start, there are a number of questions on your current exercise routines, what kinds of exercise you prefer, and what joints are affected.  A page with general fitness guidelines appears.  When you close it, a custom exercise program appears, with selected exercises in 4 categories: balance, strength, flexibility/range of motion, and cardiovascular including low impact.
My program came up with from 6 to 30 exercises, depending on the category.  For each exercise, there is a thumbnail picture and a brief description.  When you click on a picture, you get a larger picture that moves (not really a video, but it changes from beginning to ending positions). There are thorough instructions, including how to modify the exercise to make it more or less challenging, and modifications for specific joint involvement.
Along with the recommended exercises is a page on getting started with exercise.  This includes general info, as well as suggestions of how best to exercise if you have RA (or any other related issue).  They suggest exercising when your pain is at its lowest and you have the most energy, warm up before and cool down after for 5-10 minutes each, massage stiff or sore areas, apply heat or cold as needed, and respect your pain.
There are other tabs to click on, including a more extensive 'getting started' page, that includes more info on exercising, an don the different categories of exercises.  There is an activity log you can download and make copies of, to log your progress, and you can change your program by redoing the questionnaire.
One problem I saw with this site is that your information is not saved.   There is an option to print the program, where you can choose to print one page, or selected exercises.  When you leave the site, you lose the program. If you want to see it again, you have to answer the questions again (there are only six of them, so it really isn't that big a deal). Despite this, I recommend this as a resource for fitness.

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