Study Shows Winter Months are Tougher on Arthritis Patients

As the cooler months set in and the number of daylight hours decrease, it is often harder for most of us to find a reason to exercise outdoors. While we may be able to go to a gym and get our exercise fix, older adults, especially those with the chronic medical condition arthritis, often have difficulty getting the necessary exercise to improve their health.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health researchers tracked over 240 participants’ daily activities over a period of three years. Each participant wore an accelerometer while they were awake in all different types of weather. Participants each had a diagnosed case of either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

The study’s finding suggest that older adults with arthritis often do not get the amount of weekly exercise recommended by orthopedic specialists (about 150 minutes a week or 20 minutes a day) when the weather reaches temperatures too low or too high for comfort. The dwindling daylight hours also had a negative effect on arthritis sufferers’ daily activity levels, increasing the amount of time they spent sedentary.

While it’s easy to get outside for a brisk walk in warmer months, it’s important that arthritis sufferers maintain an exercise schedule in the colder winter months as well. Exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, increases flexibility and endurance, and builds muscle around the joints to protect them.

Dr. Ben Abraham specializes in osteopathic and geriatric medicine. Meeting the healing needs of older adults, Abraham Medical’s team of experienced providers work to ensure patients receive the utmost in care to allow patients to enjoy their retirement years and optimize long-term health. Whether you’re looking for indoor exercise ideas for the winter months or nutrition advice for aging, Abraham Medical strives to provide you with the tools you need to live a comfortable and productive life.

For more information on Abraham Medical’s geriatric services, family medicine, or cosmetic services, contact us. You can also stay up to date on the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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