Weather – it’s a prevalent topic of conversation on various arthritis social networks and online forums. It’s especially popular during the winter with the cold temperatures and fluctuating air pressure. Changes in temperature or barometric pressure, referring to the weight of the surrounding air, have a tendency to trigger joint pain. Here are some tips for managing arthritis when the weather gets down right chilly!
Stay Active. When it’s cold out all anyone wants to do is cuddle up on the couch. But, being less active can lead to more joint stiffness and muscle tightness. A simple pair of free weights or an exercise ball can provide many different exercise options. If you live in a building, use the hallways as a walking path, or drive to a local indoor mall where you’ll find miles of indoor space to walk.
Stay Warm. Be sure to bundle up to protect your joints from the cold! Hands and feet are especially vulnerable to the cold weather. Waterproof boots keep your feed nice and dry, and choosing clothing that is breathable and wicks away moisture from your skin is a must.
Proper Shoe Wear. Arthritis in your lower joints can diminish your balance, putting you at a greater risk for falling. Proper shoes that offer good stability are important, especially if it is icy outside.
Take a Warm Bath. The warmth will feel good to your joints and will help to loosen them up. You can do some simple stretching exercises in the bath as well; just make sure you are sitting to prevent slipping or falling. You may even look into a local community center that offers a warm water pool for additional exercise.
Maintain a Healthy Diet. When the temperature is low we tend to crave hearty comfort foods that tend to be heavier and not as healthy. Any excess weight can put increased stress on your joints, making arthritis symptoms worse.
Enjoy Sunny Winter Days. Soak up some Vitamin D, which is very important for our bone health! Just 10 minutes of sunshine will help your overall health. It may even help your mental well-being and keep you feeling positive and energetic all winter.
Remember, if your symptoms become too unbearable talk to your doctor about other options. And just remember, before you know it spring and summer will be right around the corner!
Hoobchaak, Liz. “Managing Arthritic Joints in the Winter.” Athletico. N.p., 3 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.