Spring has finally arrived after a long winter. With temperatures beginning to rise, most of you will want to step outdoors to enjoy some activities in the warmer weather. For people who suffer from arthritis and joint pain, staying active can increase joint strength and flexibility while reducing joint pain and fighting fatigue. So, how are you planning on staying active this Spring? We have compiled a short list of outdoor activities and tips for those suffering from arthritis and joint pain.
Biking – What better time to take a bike ride around town or on a local bike path during the Springtime? Biking is a very low impact activity that has great cardiovascular benefits. You are still moving your knees but it is not as harsh on your joints as running or other high impact activities. If you don’t own a bike, there are many places you might be able to rent one.
Gardening – This activity can be a great for maintaining range of motion and joint flexibility but can also cause your arthritis to flare up. Kneeling and bending can cause increased joint pain in people with arthritis. To help control the pain while gardening this spring, wear non slip footwear and avoid gripping/grasping and kneeling for long periods of time. You may find it helpful to spread out the amount of time spent working in the yard throughout the day. Other quick tips: purchase gardening tools with bigger handles; work at waist level instead of bending/kneeling/squatting (if you are going to kneel, use knee pads!).
Walking – Health experts report the average person should strive to achieve 10,000 steps per day. For someone with arthritis, this many steps can seem intimidating. Luckily, walking is low impact on your joints and you can walk at your own pace to stay comfortable. With the warmer weather here, grab a friend or some headphones and head to your local park, zoo or track to enjoy the scenery while loosening up your joints.
Swimming/Water Aerobics – When it’s a bit warmer, outdoor swimming and water aerobics not only provide a workout for the whole body, but these activities are especially effective for people with arthritis. Like biking and walking, swimming is also low impact on your joints. The fluid motions combined with water resistance can help alleviate joints that are painful, stiff, or swollen. Try a water aerobics class or swimming few laps to help loosen your joints and minimize joint pain. If it is still too cold to swim outside, check out your local gym to get a few laps done indoors.