For those of us living above the equator, summer is finally here and the heat & humidity seems to be getting worse. Weather experts predict that 2015 could be the hottest year on record with heat waves are already creating havoc in places like Europe & Asia. For those suffering from arthritis or chronic joint pain, the summer weather can be unbearable. Our joints contain sensory nerves that continuously respond to the changing weather. Temperature and humidity can alter the level of fluid that fills your joints resulting in inflammation and pain and it can also affect the stiffness or laxity in your tendons, muscles and ligaments.
Here are some tips on how to deal with the heat:
- Stay Indoors: Preferably in an air conditioned environment as that will regulate both temperature and humidity. Too much time outside can cause the amount inflammation in your joints to sky-rocket making anti-inflammatory medication less effective.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink lots of water and fluids, such as Gatorade, to maintain your fluid and electrolyte levels. Caffeine drinks, alcohol and high sugar drinks can make you dehydrated, so steer clear of those. To keep your movement fluid drink lots of fluid! Hydration is KEY!
- Wear loose, natural fiber clothing: Wearing loose, cotton clothes and linen fabrics that allow your body to breathe helps to evaporate sweat which keeps your body cool.
- Take a Swim: Taking a dip in a pool is not only great for cooling off but the buoyancy of the water also relieves the pressure on your joints. Water activities are refreshing and help you stay active when the extreme heat is too much for outdoor exercise. Remember, swimming is a low impact cardio exercise that is great for people suffering from Arthritis or joint pain.
Heat & Humidity can be a nuisance, but don’t let it stop you from enjoying the summer season!
We would love to hear from you! How do you keep your arthritis symptoms at bay and stay cool in the summer? Any advice for others?