Healthy Lifestyle Workshops

The following programs are available in NY, and have been shown to be effective in helping people manage their symptoms. Learn more about how you can take charge of your health!

Self Management

Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP)

The CDSMP is a six-week, interactive peer-support program designed by Stanford University. Workshops meet once a week for 2 ½ hours in convenient community settings such as libraries, senior centers, churches and hospitals. The small-groups are facilitated by a pair of leaders - one or both of whom is a non health professional who lives with a chronic disease. The program is designed to help people learn techniques and strategies for the day-to-day management of ongoing health conditions. People with different chronic conditions and/or disabilities attend together. The CDSMP focuses on issues common to people with a variety of health conditions, and participants develop skills through action planning and feedback, behavior modeling, problem solving techniques, and decision making. Caregivers are also welcome to attend.

  • CDSMP topics include:
    • Appropriate use of medications
    • Healthy eating and proper nutrition
    • Managing sleep and fatigue
    • Safe and effective stretching and strengthening exercise
    • Effective communication with friends, family and health care professionals

Tomando Control de su Salud is also available in NYS. It is not a translation of the CDSMP, but was developed separately. Topics covered are similar, but are presented in culturally appropriate ways and delivered entirely in Spanish.

Physical Activity

Enhance Fitness® (EF)

EnhanceFitness®, a low-cost, evidence-based group exercise program, helps older adults at all levels of fitness become more active, energized, and empowered to sustain independent lives. The program is appropriate for those with and without arthritis.

EF program components include:

  • A certified instructor with special training in bringing out the physical best from older adults
  • A 5-minute warm-up to get the blood flowing to the muscles
  • A 20-minute aerobics workout that gets participants moving, or a walking workout to lively music that the class chooses
  • A 5-minute cool-down
  • A 20-minute strength training workout with soft ankle and wrist weights (0 up to 20 pounds)
  • A 10-minute stretching workout to keep the muscles flexible
  • Balance exercises throughout the class
  • Lots of opportunities for participants to make new friends and acquaintances

If you are interested in attending an EnhanceFitness program, contact the Alliance of New York State YMCAs at 518-462-8241 or

Learn more about EnhanceFitness® efforts in New York State!

Check out the video storybook to learn more about EnhanceFitness® efforts in New York State!

If you are interested in attending or offering any of the programs described above, please call the New York State Arthritis Program at 518-408-5142, or email at

Additional Recommended Programs

In addition to the programs being promoted by the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends these additional programs to help you manage your arthritis:

Physical Activity

Self Management

CDC Promising Arthritis Appropriate Evidence Intervention