We’ve had a hot few weeks here on our little island this summer. It’s been a nice change from our usual isn’t it? While there are some who enjoy the heat and the sun bathing there are also others who prefer a nice cool shady bit.
Sadly, for those living with arthritis, the summer sun is not all it’s cracked up to be. When it comes to the heat, many arthritis sufferers can have a flare up. The hotter it is outside, the more your body will potentially swell and this can lead to pain.
In fact, it can be very common for people with arthritis to experience more pain and swelling as the weather changes throughout the year. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your favourite activities. With a balanced mix of a:
- Healthy diet
- The addition of a few daily living aids
you can control your arthritis symptoms.
It is important to keep yourself hydrated during the summer. Water will help to keep your cartilage soft and hydrated. It can also help promote healthy blood volume and allows nutrients to move through your blood and into your joints.
A great tip here would be to keep a refillable water bottle with you at all times and drink from it regularly. Adding water rich fruit and vegetables to your day will also help keep you topped up. Why not try:
Avoid Foods That Cause Inflammation
There are a number of different food groups that can increase the level of inflammation in your body. Stay away from foods that are high in saturated fats. This includes processed foods, fried food and full-fat dairy products.
Feel free to learn more here.
While this might not be an obvious step to recommend, making sure you are comfortable in the summer sun is important. But when you have a day outdoors planned, don’t forget to think about the shoes you will wear.
You will need to make sure they are lightweight and comfortable. This will help prevent putting added stress in your ankle and tow joints.
Exercise is important to help manage your weight which in turn will take pressure away from your joints. Low-impact exercise such as walking, cycling and swimming will help to keep you moving and take the pressure off your joints.
Avoid running, jumping or any contact sports.
Protect Your Skin
The sun is a great source of vitamin D. However, too much sun can cause sunburn and ultimately increase your risk of skin cancer. In fact, some medications prescribed for arthritis can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. With this in mind, we would recommend:
- You spend time in the shade especially between 11am – 3 pm which is when the sun is at its peak and hottest.
- Cover yourself up with bright, lightweight clothing. This will protect your skin and help keep you cool.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF30 that also has 4 or 4 UVA stars.