Caring for Arthritis During the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly upon us! Sweet treats, comfort foods, and holiday drinks are calling your name at every turn, and warm gatherings with family and friends cause for much celebration. However, the combination of cold weather and rich foods can make arthritis symptoms flare up.

Here are some tips on caring for arthritis during the holidays:

Exercise Inside

While it may sound much cozier to stay on your couch than go to a gym, it is very important to keep your joints moving and active during the winter months.

Join a gym where you can use a treadmill or stationary bike to get some exercise. If those make your joint pain worse, consider swimming or walking in an indoor pool. The warm pool water can help relax your muscles and keep them free of pressure. If you aren’t sure about what machines you could use, ask a staff member at a gym for suggestions on low-impact exercises.

Stay Away from Foods that Cause Inflammation

Cold weather and holidays invite some of the most delicious, but also some of the unhealthiest foods of the year. Avoid high-fat, high-sugar foods this holiday season. There are plenty of delicious alternative ingredients you can swap out for traditional holiday foods.

Avoid Colds and Illness

Many medications that are prescribed for inflammatory kinds of arthritis lower the body’s ability to fight infection. Even a common cold may affect your body much more aggressively if you are taking any of these anti-inflammatory medications.

Be sure to wash your hands more and don’t get too close to friends and family who may be sick with a cold or the flu.

Be Cautious on Slippery Surfaces

The risk of falling definitely increases during the winter because of snowy and icy conditions outside. Arthritis can often impair one’s balance and stability. If you are concerned about the health of your joints and your stability, be extra cautious when walking outside.

Wear appropriate shoes and accept help when offered. If you can, park your car in your garage or very close to a door so you don’t have to walk far.

Winter is not always the kindest season for those who suffer from joint pain. But caring for arthritis during the holidays is not impossible. If you choose to make healthy decisions and be extra cautious when trekking outside, you can make it through the winter with ease!

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