Those suffering from osteoarthritis will likely welcome the climate that the seasonal change into Spring brings. The warmer temperatures offer a degree of relief to the joints compared to the harsher, Winter months.
It is the perfect time to introduce some arthritis friendly outdoor activities not only to get your body moving, but also to be able to enjoy being outside during Spring.
Weight-bearing activities, such as walking, are particularly important as they can both reduce overall pain over time, and help maintain a strong and healthy joint. The good thing about walking is that 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.
As Spring arrives, nature is also in bloom. Head for a walk around your local botanical gardens to enjoy the mild sunshine, flex your joints, and see the flora come alive. Small but regular walks take less of a toll on the body. Aim for daily if you can!
Whether you opt for a pool, the ocean, or even a lake for the more adventurous, a light swim will do your body the world of good. The water provides buoyancy to take pressure and pain off your affected joints, and a swim also is great for refreshing and stimulating the mind. This is a great way to look after both your body and mind at once!
If you aren’t much of a swimmer, there are a number of other water-based activities which can be just as beneficial for arthritis sufferers. Your strength is actually increased from the resistance provided by the water, so activities like water yoga, Pilates or even simple stretches are an enjoyable way to build up strength around your joints.
Some light gardening gets you outdoors, but more importantly keeps most of your body’s key joints active; from the knees, to the hips, to the fingers and even wrists. Tip: do this barefoot for the feel of fresh earth and grass on your feet!
You don’t need to be an avid horticulturist to get active in the garden. The best flowers to plant will depend on where you live but some common basics for Spring are daises, lavender or foxgloves.
Starting your own fruit and veggie patch is also a fun way to be able to watch and care for what you grow, before serving it on your plate to nourish your body from the inside. Raspberries, cucumber, broccoli, garlic and a number of herbs can all be cultivated at home and are all great for your overall nutrition.
To ensure your activities and movements are sustainable, pick something which you genuinely enjoy doing. Also, remember that you don’t have to do these activities alone, and in fact they are often a lot more fun with friends!