Tips to benefit your lifestyle
Above all, do not let the frosty temperatures get you down. Aside from consuming nutritious foods that are beneficial to your health, you should make an effort to control your symptoms with an active lifestyle. These simple approaches can help to reduce your discomfort, all the while preserving your mobility.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Increased pressure on the joints and overwhelming stress can lead to an increase in body weight. For this reason, during the gloomy winter months, make sure that your diet remains moderate by making changes that reflect your energetic needs. Focus on consuming green leafy vegetables and incorporating healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado into your diet. Green leafy vegetables help improve your immune function and healthy fats help lubricate your joints.
- Take necessary medication – Specific types of medication can help alleviate your RA symptoms so be sure to talk with your doctor about which one(s) are appropriate for you. A personalized medicine plan with products, decisions, and interventions tailored to your needs can predict your response or risk associated with RA.
- Consume plenty of calcium and vitamin D – While your body can receive large amounts of vitamin D through skin exposure to the sun, this can be rather difficult during the winter months. For this reason, consume supplements and foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Such nutritional value is essential for ensuring joint mobility and bone health.
- Stay active – During the winter, staying active can be hard but you need to make the effort to keep moving. Maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial to ensuring your blood circulation remains on an optimal level and your muscles around your arthritic joints stay strong. “The goal is to get blood flowing to the joints and be mentally prepared for exercise” said Jennifer Hootman, epidemiologist in the CDC’s Arthritis Program. Consider doing some low-impact exercises at home by watching a workout DVD or following your doctor’s instructions on a proper exercise program. Moreover, include range-of-motion exercises into your exercise program in order to improve muscle flexibility and functionality in your affected areas.
- Pace yourself – Remember to take it easy. “Stress, whether emotional or physical, may provoke a flare-up of RA – with increased pain, swelling and stiffness. Stress can also amplify the perception of pain” said Dr. Bonita Libman, rheumatologist and professor of medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Take some time to do whatever you feel relaxes you the most - whether it is going to see a movie, taking a nap, or relaxing in a warm bath. After all, the best way to cope with stress and recharge your batteries is through maintaining a healthy lifestyle.