5 Ways to Stay Active in the Summer Heat without Aggravating Joint Pain

We all look forward to the joys of Summer, but staying active with joint pain can be challenging during these warmer months. Having joint pain doesn’t mean you have to give up on exercise altogether. You might just need to change your approach. Here are some tips to help you stay active this summer:

  1. Warm Up and Stretch First. Warming up prepares your muscles and joints for activity, reducing the risk of strains and sprains. Gentle stretching and a slow start to your activity can prepare your joints and muscles. Don’t forget to cool down. Ending with stretching can help reduce stiffness and improve flexibility.
  2. Choose Low -Impact Activities. Try to avoid options that put a lot of pressure on your joints, like running. Talk about your exercise goals with your doctor or a physical therapist to see what might work best for you. Here are some of the best low impact choices: a peaceful nature or neighborhood walk, water aerobics, riding a bike outdoors, a stationary bike, or even as simple as regular stretching.
  3. Switch It Up.Too much of a good thing can cause further joint aggravation. Make sure to switch around your activities like gardening, golfing, or hiking so that repetitive strain won’t get the best of your knees, hips and elbows.
  4. Stay Hydrated. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can impair physical performance and increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, which can indirectly contribute to injuries. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as they can contribute to dehydration.
  5. Watch the Weather. Heat and humidity can exacerbate inflammation in the body, which can lead to increased joint pain and stiffness.  Choose cooler times of the day, like early morning or evening, for outdoor activities. Avoid intense physical activities during the hottest part of the day

By following these tips, you can enjoy an active summer while managing your joint pain effectively. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if your joint pain persists or gets worse over time.

To schedule an appointment with an Aspirus Orthopedic provider, visit aspirus.org/orthopedics.