Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tips To Help You Cope This Winter

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Staying active can be difficult for many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, especially during the harsh winter months.

Research has shown that those who suffer from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis benefit from physical activity.

Constant movement is said to ease pain, and improve body function and overall quality of life.

At the same time winter is a month when many people, even those who don't suffer from chronic physical ailments, become less physically active.

The cold temperatures and harsh weather can make it difficult to get out and give such a sensation of uncomfortableness that no one wishes to leave their cozy home.

It's important that those with rheumatoid arthritis make the attempt to stay physically active, even during the winter.

Here are a few tips for how to make that happen:

1.) Dress for the weather

If you are properly insulated against cold weather (whether indoors or outside), you won't mind the cold nearly as much.

Invest in long underwear, insulation clothing, and quality outerwear.

2.) Find a water walking class

Too cold for your regular outdoor walks? Consider a water walking class.

Water exercises tend to be less harsh on the joints than traditional exercises.

"The water’s buoyancy supports the body’s weight, which reduces stress on the joints and minimizes pain," said Vennie Jones, who works as an aquatic coordinator.

“And it’s still a great workout. Water provides 12 times the resistance of air, so as you walk, you’re really strengthening and building muscle.”

Regular underwater workouts can help rheumatoid arthritis sufferers get their regular exercise while avoiding frigid weather conditions.

3.) Consider heat (or even cold) therapy

Heat therapy can be a welcome relief for arthritis pain as the treatment is said to both stimulate blood circulation and reduce muscle spasms.

Cold therapy meanwhile can reduce pain through the constriction of blood vessels.

It may take individuals with rheumatoid arthritis some time to figure out which treatment works best.

Definitely use heat (and/or cold therapy) to quell aching muscles while maintaining efforts to stay mobile.

It's important to keep moving, no matter how cold it gets. The more active rheumatoid arthritis patients remain, the better it is for their overall health.

What methods have you found help with rheumatoid arthritis during winter months?