Whilst the warmer weather can often reduce the osteoarthritic joint pain exacerbated by the colder, Winter months, Summer in Australia can sometimes be too hot for the body to function optimally. Make sure you choose a combination of activities which strike a balance between making the most of the outdoors, but also keeping your body cool.
Explore new scenery
For many, Summer coincides with a holiday or a weekend getaway of some type. Make the most of the change in scenery and fill your evenings with a long, slow walk. Doing this after dinner can help digestion, promote a better night of sleep, and also means that the weather will have cooled down a bit.
As walking is a weight-bearing activity it can both reduce overall pain over time, and help maintain a strong and healthy joint. It is also a low-impact exercise, so it is manageable even for those with suffering from arthritis in weight-bearing joints such as the hip or knee.
If you are a keen golfer, dust off those clubs and book in for a few holes at your local golf course. The movements associated with golf are great for increasing your range of motion around arthritic joints. It also helps build strength, and improves overall balance.
The prospect of cycling with unpredictable joints can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Cycling is surprisingly gentle on the joints if you stick to flat terrain and take a reasonable pace. If your budget permits, investing in an electric bike is a fantastic option if you are tackling ground with a lot of incline. There are pre-programmed modes on the bike to take on some of the load that would otherwise be put directly onto your joints.
Beach & water-based activities
With the weather at its warmest, it is the perfect excuse to hit the beach and the water. Depending on where you live, some suburbs offer summer beach yoga classes during sunrise. This can serve as great motivation to get out of bed early, and start your day right with a full yoga flow, stretching all parts of the body.
Hop into the water for either a light swim, or an aquatic-based workout. The resistance in the water helps build strength, whilst the buoyancy makes it easier on painful joints to do so.
The great thing about all of the above, is that you can take them at your own pace, and they can be done individually, or with friends depending on how social you are feeling. Whichever activities you opt for during Summer, remember to stay sun-safe with SPF50+, and keep the body hydrated with plenty of water.