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News for Arthritis Foundation Program Instructors in the Arthritis Foundation, Great West Region
Summer 2013

 

Articles This Issue

Instructors in Action
Pat Ericson, Aquatics Instructor and Trainer extraordinaire, loves to work with class participants and teach instructor trainings - and consistently does an excellent job.  Find out how.

Quarterly Reports Due
Submit your reports by July 15, 2013.

Upcoming Trainings
Give someone the opportunity to take control of their arthritis in 2013. Recertify as an Arthritis Foundation Instructor or invite a friend or co-worker to become certified. See the list of upcoming trainings.

Be Good to Your Joints
Interesting tips to keep your joints happy and moving.  Find out more.

Four Arthritis Programs to Fit Your Needs
Find out more about each of the Arthritis Foundation's Programs for Better Living and how they impact participants. 

Find Out Which Activities Impact Your Arthritis 
Arthritis Foundation’s TRACK + REACT tool gives people with arthritis an online day-to-day arthritis wellness tool. Learn more.

Photos from the Field

The Many Forms of Arthritis
Learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatments for Lupus.  

Get Connected 

 


 

Instructors in Action

Pat Ericson, Aquatics Instructor and Trainer Extraordinaire, loves to work with class participants and teach instructor trainings - and consistently does an excellent job.

 

Pat EricsonPat Ericson teaches Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program classes at the University of Utah Orthopaedic Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the pool manager and aquatic specialist there, and works with people with orthopedic injuries post-surgery, with people with chronic pain, and with people who have arthritis. She often says she “feels fortunate to hold classes in such a beautiful, light-filled therapy pool”. Pat also is very proud of her part in helping design the pool to be functional and enjoyable.

Pat received her B.S. degree in Communicative Disorders from Utah State University and her Associates of Science in Physical Therapy. She has been working as a physical therapist assistant for 27 years and in aquatic therapy for 20 years. She has a thorough, working knowledge of the properties of water that are so beneficial for those with arthritis, which helps to increase circulation and range of motion, and decrease inflammation and pain to joints and surrounding areas.

In addition to being an Aquatics instructor, Pat has also been an active Aquatics trainer for at least 15 years. As she says, “I’ve been teaching Arthritis Foundation classes and trainings for so many years, I can’t remember exactly how long. But it’s a lot!”

Pat loves to teach. "I love working with individuals in the pool and couldn't ask for a better job. And I enjoy working with the Arthritis Foundation to teach the Aquatic Program to instructors," says Pat. She is always eager to share her experience and expertise about the benefits of water exercise, explaining things in an easy-to-understand way to class participants and instructors. Her enthusiasm for the program and her support of the Arthritis Foundation are positively contagious.

In training workshops, Pat continually invites comments and observations from instructors and encourages commitment to the program. She pays attention to each individual while facilitating group interaction and engages everyone. She shares real-life experiences and knowledge and urges others to do the same. She’s open-minded and willing to learn. Her ever-present (and appreciated) sense of humor is timely and relevant. She’s patient and positive, and always smiling. She listens well and laughs easily.

She just plain makes learning and exercising fun.

So what do instructors have to say about Pat’s training workshops? Below are some of their comments:

“The training was great, and I really liked the atmosphere of learning and fun!”

“What a wonderful class. Pat was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.”

“I really appreciated Pat encouraging everyone to open up and share their experiences with the class. Even the quiet ones (like me) got to contribute. It turned out to be really fun!”

“It was a great class, no stress and a lot of information!”

“I learned so much and had so much fun. It was definitely worth my time to be here today.”

“Pat rocks!”

Pat’s knowledge of arthritis, enthusiasm and style of leadership are lessons we can all learn to make our classes beneficial, informative, and enjoyable for all.

Pat lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and has two lovely daughters. Her most recent accomplishment was receiving her black belt in taekwondo.

So thanks, Pat, for all you do. It’s true … you rock!

 


 

Quarterly Reports Due July 15, 2013

 

Second quarter program reports are due by July 15. Click here to access the forms and our return contact information.

 


 

Upcoming Trainings

 

Give someone the opportunity to take control of their arthritis in 2013. Recertify as an Arthritis Foundation Instructor or invite a friend or co-worker to become certified. Search the event list for upcoming trainings.

 


 

Be Good to Your Joints

Interesting tips to keep your joints happy and moving.

We’ve all got them. Sometimes they hurt and sometimes we wish there was more we could do to stop the pain. We’re talking about joints. Here are a few interesting tips to keep your joints happy and moving:

 

Stttrrreeetttccchhh. Stretching isn't just for workouts anymore. Take breaks throughout the day, including at your office, to get re-energized and help keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong.

Walk Fido. Pets don't just help your mental health, they also help your physical health. Walking your dog is a great excuse for getting yourself into shape. Use a sturdy leash that is easy to grip, such as a thick leash with a loop handle.

Brace yourself. Elbow, wrist and joint braces, or guards, not only prevent injury but also reduce the load on joints. Ask your doctor if braces may alleviate some of your joint stress and, who knows, perhaps improve your game.

Buddy up. Working out with friends is one of the easiest ways to keep your exercise program on track. Try walking with a friend after work.thumbs up

Soak it up. There's nothing like a warm bath to soothe aching muscles and joints after a workout. So go ahead and pamper yourself without guilt – how you treat yourself after exercise is as critical as how you treat yourself during a workout.

Do the write thing. Keeping a journal can be fun and therapeutic. Writing about your deepest fears, feelings and frustrations can help you put everything in perspective. It also helps you easily look back over your victories and successes. Some people with pain have found a measure of relief from writing down their feelings.

Say no. It may be tough at first, but after awhile you'll get the hang of it. Saying no to others and to activities lets you say yes to extra time for yourself. It also allows you to say yes to exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction – three power-packed methods of improving your health.

Find out more:
Discover more tips and other great advice.

 


 

Four Arthritis Programs to Fit Your Needs

Find out more about each of the Arthritis Foundation's Programs for Better Living and how they impact participants.  

 

AFAP

The Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program is an evidence-based program that allows you to exercise without putting excess strain on your joints and muscles. The gentle activities in warm water, with guidance from a trained instructor, help improve strength and flexibility. Participants enjoy decreased pain and stiffness. Swimming is not required.

AFAP

“Our class is more than just exercise. It’s fun, and entertaining and I’ve met so many people and created so many new friendships. All of this helps me to get up early every other morning and get in the water and smile more.” Erin A., Oregon

 

 

The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is an evidence-based program designed specifically for people with arthritis and uses gentle activities to help increase joint flexibility and range of motion while maintaining muscle strength and decreasing pain. Exercises can be done standing or in a chair.

AFEP

 “I’m able to move more freely now than I’ve been able to in many, many years. I’m able to bend down easily. I enjoy working in my yard. I feel younger and more energetic.” Penny L., California

 

 

 

Tai ChiThe Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program is designed to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis using Sun style Tai Chi which is one of the four major recognized styles of Tai Chi. This style includes agile steps and exercises that may improve mobility, breathing and relaxation.

Tai Chi

“I had my hip replaced and didn’t know how to get back my mobility. Tai Chi not only helped me regain my balance and movement but it helped me to clear my mind.” Daniel O., Colorado

 

 

 

The Walk With Ease program is a six-week structured walking program designed to increase mobility and endurance. The program can be done either individually or as a group and can start with just 10 minutes on your feet and building up to more than 45 minutes.

WWE photo

“My Walk with Ease instructor's enthusiasm and knowledge have made a profound difference in how I will proceed with my arthritis. I truly wish there were more programs like this that could help mitigate the cost of insurance and supplement the time you spend with your doctor. There is more to treating a condition than just prescribing medication. Your program allows the whole person to be treated.” Kris B., Washington

 

 

 

 


 

Find Out Which Activities Impact Your Arthritis

Arthritis Foundation’s TRACK + REACT tool gives people with arthritis an online day-to-day arthritis wellness tool.


Track and React Created specifically for those with arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation’s online TRACK + REACT tool is easy to use and captures key daily activities and symptoms for instant results. Users can track daily fitness, nutrition, symptoms, medication and more to discover a personalized path to wellness.

There are powerful connections between what you do and how you feel. With TRACK + REACT, you can identify trends over time and see the rewards of better self-management. TRACK + REACT’s personalized arthritis impact graph reveals the potential relationship between your actions and your symptoms.

TRACK + REACT provides a fully private environment to record what matters to you. You can track nutrition, physical activity, stress levels, medication, sleep quality, pain, fatigue and more.

With all this information, TRACK + REACT then helps you set personalized goals and find advice and tips from the experts you trust at the Arthritis Foundation on how to live better.

Visit www.ArthritisToday.org/TrackAndReact to get started today!

 

 

 


 

Photos from the Field

 

Cindy Hollowell’s Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program class in Cody, Wyoming named their group the Water Lilies. The group’s enthusiasm and pizzazz makes the program even more fun, social and lively.

 water lilies

 

 


 

The Many Forms of Arthritis

Learn more about the signs, symptoms and treatments for Lupus. 

Lupus is one of many disorders of the immune system known as autoimmune diseases. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against the body it's designed to protect for unknown reasons. Most often when people speak of lupus, they are speaking of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease that affects nearly every organ system in the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, and central nervous system. SLE is only one type of lupus.

There are myriad symptoms associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus). Every organ system is affected and each system can be affected in different ways. Fatigue is one of the most prominent and life-affecting symptoms. Nearly everyone with lupus experiences fatigue, and it can be debilitating. Joint pain, another prominent symptom, is what most commonly initiates the first doctor visit.

Because systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) affects so many different organ systems and because different symptoms manifest at different times, the diagnosis of lupus can take a long time and may be frustrating for both you and your doctor. When diagnosing lupus, it is important to rule out other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, that have similar features. A doctor may have the patient complete a family and medical history, do a physical exam, take x-rays and complete laboratory tests.

Treatment is available for everyone with lupus and it usually works well. The treatment is aimed at preventing complications, as well as treating the symptoms and signs of the disease. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, DMARDs and corticosteroids may be prescribed to help treat the symptoms of SLE.

Doctors need to know about any other diseases or conditions because they may affect lupus symptoms or the medications that can be prescribed. Likewise, doctors need to know about all medications (prescription and over the counter), as well as all the vitamins and supplements a patient takes. A well-rounded treatment plan may include medications, diet and exercise. Pacing activities and getting adequate rest can help to ease fatigue.

Find out more:
Visit the Arthritis Foundation’s Learn About Arthritis page to find out more about lupus and other forms of arthritis.

 

  


 

Get Connected

 

Find your local Arthritis Foundation office to get connected to programs and events.

Find out about all of our volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Resource Page or fill out a volunteer application.

Feedback or ideas for AFitness future stories? E-mail wbalmer@arthritis.org

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