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Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program

Last summer, Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County and the Franklin County Office for the Aging worked together to bring the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) to Adult Centers in Malone and Saranac Lake. These programs were enjoyed so much by the people attending them that in addition to returning to last year’s locations we are expanding AFEP to Burke and St. Regis Falls.

AFEP is an exercise program to help everyone, especially those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus, maintain quality of life by increasing energy levels, keeping joints flexible and muscles strong, improving sleep and overall well-being. Regular physical activity reduces stress. Stress can increase the way we experience pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise is the single most effective non-drug treatment for improving range of motion and movement while reducing the pain of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Known as “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis is also the single most common chronic joint condition.

The exercises in the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program are safe, fun and proven effective at promoting better health and well-being. The low impact program of gentle range-of-motion exercises are suitable for all abilities and fitness levels. All of the exercise can be completed in either a standing or seated position depending your needs. Each participant determines their own limits for range of motion.

Like all the physical activity programs offered by CCE Franklin, AFEP has proven results as an evidence based program. The program dates back to 1986 with revisions based on increased knowledge and consumer research at least once each decade.

Goals of the AFEP program:

  • Enjoyable safe exercise program
  • Encourage positive social interaction
  • Decrease depression and sense of isolation
  • Increase feeling of well-being
  • Improve mood and self-efficacy
  • Improve performance of daily activities
  • Increase participants’ awareness of arthritis exercise principals, joint protection and relaxation techniques
  • Maintain or improve certain physical parameters depending on the choice of activities and exercises.

While not a therapeutic program, AFEP has been shown that it may help achieve the following physical goals:

  • Reduced pain and stiffness
  • Restore or maintain joint range of motion
  • Maintain or increase muscle strength
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Reduce fatigue and increase endurance
  • Improve overall perceived health status

Anyone interested in joining any of these programs is invited to contact Vanetta Conn, by telephone, (518) 483-7403 or email,

Last updated November 7, 2017