Jun 14, 2018

5 Tips for Enjoying the Beach this Summer with Arthritis

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In North Carolina, there is no shortage of things to do outdoors. With many beautiful beach choices here on the east coast, there is a spot for anyone looking to find some surf. However, for those who suffer from arthritis, a beach day just isn’t that easy. Fatigue, joint pain, stiffness and depression make it difficult for arthritis sufferers to simply venture outside and take on the outside world. It’s important to remember though, that appropriate amounts of exercise (especially if you can do it outside) can help ease symptoms and reduce joint pain, which makes it essential for those with arthritis to stay motivated. Not only that, but outdoor activity has been proven to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. While it may be difficult, the beach should be a reprieve from this disease. Get moving and get ready take on a day of sun and sand. Here are five tips for enjoying the beach this summer with arthritis.

Plan a gathering day.

Don’t go at it alone! Use your beach day to catch up with family and friends. While you are out there you might need some help so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Assign everyone chores and be sure to organize a meeting time and enlist their help carrying heavy items.

Get healthy.

The beach is an ideal place for reflection and peace. Kill two birds with one stone during your beach trip and exercise while doing some soul searching. Walking, swimming and yoga are all great forms of activity for those who suffer from arthritis and the beach is the perfect place for all three.

Find the perfect chair.

The key to a comfortable beach day is a cozy and ergonomic chair.  As any experienced beach goer knows a quality chair is great, but for those with arthritis it is priceless. Look for something with optimal support and comfort that allows you to sit or lay. Find a chair that is adjustable and has pillows that offer pressure relief and bone support. Ensure it will easily allow you to sit, stand and change positions throughout the day.

Hydrate.

Water helps reduce joint pain by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. It also promotes healthy blood volume, which helps nutrients move through your blood and into your joints. It is essential to stay hydrated if you suffer from arthritis, especially if you are sitting in the sun all day. Monitor your water intake and ensure you pack healthy fruits and veggies to snack on throughout your beach day.

Be prepared.

Make sure you are completely prepared for the day so you can relax. In addition to a comfy chair, water and snacks, make sure you have a first aid kid, ice packs and sunscreen. Certain medications will make patients more sensitive to sunlight so be careful, retreat to the shade periodically, and apply a liberal amount of sunscreen.

While these ideas are great for arthritis sufferers, the most crucial tip is listening to your body. Know your limits, get plenty of rest and don’t forget to the have fun! Follow these important tips and don’t let arthritis hold you back from your favorite things this summer. If you have any questions before taking on the beach, contact Carolina Arthritis and we will help get you prepared to coast through the day.