Many people in northern climates want to spend November through February wrapped in a blanket by the fire. But if you suffer from arthritis, you should avoid this urge to hibernate. Sitting still for the cold winter months is not what you should do.
Don't be a hibernating bear in winter time!
Why is movement important? Because people with many types of arthritis, including rheumatoid and psoriatic, are more prone to getting stiff. And you get stiffer if you sit still. Also, decreasing your activity level can cause you to gain weight. Weighing more means more stress on your hip, knee and ankle joints.
Some of the ways to overcome winter time hibernation include:
Make A Home Gym
You do not have to spend a lot to enjoy a home workout. A stationary bike or an inexpensive treadmill for brisk walking are good choices. These sorts of low-impact exercises can be used any time of the year.
If you do not want to spend that much, try a set of light weights or resistance bands. These help you to boost strength and muscle tone. Balance balls also are great to get more stability. Even if you don't have one of these, you still can do simple balance exercises, including standing on one leg, and using a chair to support yourself.
No matter if you prefer yoga, pilates or another type of workout, joining a class with other people will keep you motivated to keep moving. Exercising with a group gives you a feeling of accountability and makes it more fun and social. Many people find that when they have a class each week and they get to know people, they never want to miss it.
And don't forget, if you are fit enough, get out in the snow! Whether you decide to snowshoe, walk, bike or do something else, those 20 or 30 minutes outside can help to keep you limber and your arthritis pain under control.
After a winter workout, you can soothe your joints with one of our microwavable moist heat packs: