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How Is Cold Weather Affecting Your Arthritis?

How Is Cold Weather Affecting Your Arthritis?

Arthritis can be a pretty delicate condition to live with. It can be rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, or any other disease connected to your body’s immunity misfiring. Whichever the case, you need a community to get through those bad days. If you suffer from this autoimmune disorder, you know that winters or the cold, in general, can be pretty unforgiving to your arthritis pain or flare-ups. No matter what experts who don’t have the condition say, there’s no denying that there exists a relationship between how much arthritis pain affects your normal life and whether the sun is shining or not.  

The rock and hard place of exercise for arthritis patients

Cold weather means your hands feel more pain than usual and if it’s your knee joints giving you trouble, it’s more than the normal dose. It’s not fun living in pain all the time and although medications reduce some symptoms, little is known about rheumatoid diseases presently to completely avoid pain. It can be quite tempting to lie in your bed. Maybe even prop up your electric blanket to get just the right warmth and combat the chilly weather. However, lack of exercise for arthritis-stricken joints is a bad thing. This is because your joints become stiff when not exercised. Exercise also boosts your energy and eases pain in the long run.

How can you exercise your joints during the winter?

The key is to do it right. You need an exercise routine that will loosen up the joints without causing injury.

•    Dress appropriately

The best way to be warm without getting too hot is using loose layers. Thermal underwear is ideal to give foundation to the middle and outer layers of your workout clothes. The material is lightweight and has wicking technology that keeps you dry by removing sweat. Loose layers also trap heat in between which makes it easier for your body to maintain a regulated temperature. A base of thermals followed by an outer layer of regular clothes preferably made from wool and topped with a waterproof jacket or raincoat is an ideal layering.

In addition to the layers, you need a hat or beanie for your ears, mittens for your hands, and boots with better grip than that found in regular running or walking shoes. You can add cleats to your shoes to provide traction as you walk on the ice or on packed snow. You can also use trail shoes instead of regular walking shoes.

•    Keeping safe

Letting others in the loop before you take a walk is a good idea. You also need a phone to communicate in the event the unimaginable happens and you aren’t able to get yourself home again.

•    Taking low impact exercise options

Instead of cardio exercises, spend few hours walking the local trail or do some cross country skiing if you feel you are up for it. Avoid exercising in the morning because your joints are still cramped up and the pain medication is yet to kick in.
•    Hydrating: take lots of water to keep up your hydration.
•    Protect your skin by using sunscreen or sunblock. Some arthritis medication makes your skin more sensitive than usual.
•    Utilize indoor spaces like the local mall or take a session in your local gym. It is easier to regulate cold inside than outside.

Your number one practical step to brave winter arthritis complications this winter is to get yourself some thermal underwear. Bodtek has custom-designed male and female thermal underwear to fit without being too tight for comfort. Get yourself a set this winter to better manage your arthritis.