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Stay active in winter months to combat the symptoms of arthritis.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area doesn’t see as much severe winter weather other parts of the country do, but temperatures still fall, which can impact arthritis sufferers. One study showed they experience more pain with each ten-degree drop in temperature, and fewer hours of daylight during the winter means many people spend less time exercising than they do other times of the year. A 2011 study confirmed this among arthritis sufferers in Chicago.

If you have either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, you probably already know that exercise is one way to ease the pain of your condition. Given that, here are some ways you can stay active during the winter months.

Exercise Outdoors

On warmer winter days, you can take part in a variety of outdoor activities that help reduce arthritis pain. These include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Doing yard work
  • Playing golf

If you choose to exercise outdoors on cold or damp days, take precautions to keep your joints warm. Some things to do include:

  • Wearing loose layers of clothing
  • Putting on gloves or mittens
  • Using waterproof shoes or boots to keep feet warm and dry

Exercise Indoors

When winter weather is more severe, you can get your physical activity through a variety of exercises. Classes for some of them might be offered at community or recreational centers, while others you can do at home. Some of these include:

  • Practicing yoga, tai chi, or Pilates
  • Swimming or doing water aerobics
  • Using a treadmill or stationary bike
  • Working out with free weights or weight machines
  • Walking indoors at a mall

Stay Active Throughout the Day

Often you can get the physical activity you need as part of your daily routine. Some ways to do this include:

  • Doing household chores
  • In public buildings, using the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator
  • Doing simple exercises while watching TV
  • Dancing to your favorite music

At North Hills Hospital, we know how arthritis can make the simplest activities painful. Staying active year-round is one way to cope. But at times, joint replacement might be necessary. In those cases, our Joint Replacement Program is ready to help. You can reach its resource line at (817) 255-1691.

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