When the seasons change and the weather gets cooler, you might experience more problems with rheumatoid arthritis. Colder weather can make your RA symptoms, such as stiffness and pain, worse than usual. You might also have trouble getting regular physical activity and taking other steps to ease your symptoms. Even when it’s freezing out, you can still manage RA in the following ways.
Being in cold weather can make joint pain and stiffness worse. When you’re out in the cold, this can affect your blood circulation and lead to increased discomfort. You might also have more muscle spasms, which can result in more soreness in your muscles. Stay warm by dressing in layers and protecting your hands and feet from the cold with comfortable gloves and socks. Since stiffness might be worse, choose jackets or coats that are easy to open and close, such as those with zipper closures rather than buttons.
Move Around Often
Being up on your feet more can help ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. You might find it harder to do this in winter, especially if it’s too cold to go outside for walks and other activities. Keep in mind that being physically active around the house can be easy to do. For example, you can march in place while watching TV or do a brisk walk around your home. Doing household chores, such as vacuuming or dusting, also keep you on your feet.
Keeping your joints as flexible as possible can help ease stiffness and pain, even when these symptoms are worse in cold weather. Stretches provide a simple yet effective way to give your joints a workout. Aim to do simple stretches in your home each day. Just check with your doctor first to make sure that the stretches you plan on doing are safe for you.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The fall and winter months can make it harder to stick to a healthy diet. You might be more tempted to indulge in sweet, sugary treats during the holidays or unhealthy comfort foods thanks to the cold weather. Eating healthy foods and limiting unhealthy ones is an important part of keeping your body in good shape overall and lowering your risk of RA flareups. Make sure that your diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and other healthy foods during fall and winter.
Choose Activities You Enjoy
As long as you’re getting regular physical activity, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Choose one or more physical activities that you enjoy doing, and you’ll be more likely to keep doing them throughout the colder months. Dancing, indoor swimming and yoga are a few ideas for activities you might like doing when it’s colder out.
If you know you will struggle with the seasons changing and colder weather approaching and you’re not already a patient with ACLKY, speak with your primary doctor and obtain a referral for ACLKY today.