Walking in the wintertime is not easy for people with arthritis. The cold can make it ache more, and snow and ice can make walking more difficult.
Tasks like shoveling snow or raking leaves are difficult if you have arthritis. So what can you do to protect your joints from the elements and the pain? Here are some tips for getting through the winter:
- Wear layers of loose clothing to insulate your joints from the cold. A scarf around your neck and a hat on your head will help you stay warm without making your joints stiff. If you need to go outside, dress in layers so you can take off outer clothes if you begin to sweat while shoveling or raking.
- Warm up your muscles and tendons slowly before going outside. If it’s possible, start by doing some exercises indoors such as stretching or walking around a little before heading out into the cold. This will help prepare your muscles for cold weather conditions and reduce the chance that they’ll become injured or painful once you’re outside.
- Treat winter weather with respect. Take shorter walks in the wintertime, rather than longer ones, and don’t be afraid to turn back if you feel too much pain in your joints when walking around outside.
- Eat more anti-inflammatory foods. Natural anti-inflammatory foods include fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, bananas, and tomatoes. Even dark chocolate can have an effect on arthritis pain. Some people find relief from their joint pain by switching to a diet with more natural foods and eliminating processed food.
- Stay well-hydrated. Getting enough water helps reduce inflammation in your body and joints. It’s recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and promote better sleep at night.