32 Hobbies & Activities Modified for Arthritis

November 8, 2017


Arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to joint inflammation and its associated rheumatic symptoms. There are over 200 rheumatic diseases identified by this term, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia. Although it’s most common in the elderly, it can strike at any age.

All arthritic conditions can cause pain, swelling, stiffness and difficulty moving joints, but the severity may vary and symptoms can come and go in ‘flare-ups’. It’s a chronic and often degenerative medical condition that can unfortunately impact wellbeing and quality of life, with tiredness, fatigue, depression and irritability all common complaints from those diagnosed with the condition.

 Being diagnosed with any type of arthritis can be a distressing experience and provoke anxiety about the way you live your life. The stiffness and pain may at times make you feel like you have to give up the hobbies and activities that you enjoy, which can worsen feelings of hopelessness and depression.

We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be the case. Although living with arthritis isn’t always easy, you’ll still be able to do the things you enjoy, often with just a few small adjustments. We’ve put together this list of 32 activities and hobbies that aren’t too hard on the joints, and that can be modified to suit you depending on your levels of pain and discomfort.

Make sure you check out our range of products to help arthritis too, including hand position splints which provide support for painful or swollen joints, and our specially designed ergonomic cutlery

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Arts and crafts are a brilliant and easy way to get creative, which can boost focus and alleviate boredom. These activities also will elevate mood and increase overall wellness. 

For arthritis sufferers, there’s also a range of therapeutic benefits; the repetitive actions involved in activities like needlework and art can reduce pain and stiffness. These movements also lubricate the joints, making them more flexible. Crafts can build up strength in your muscles and joints which can slow down further degeneration, meaning those with arthritis will retain greater functionality over the years.

However, potential risks like repetitive strain injuries can actually worsen symptoms, so make sure to follow our simple tips for safety and comfort.

Knitting


You might think that knitting is too fiddly and will cause pain and discomfort. However, with the right adjustments it can actually distract from or even reduce pain. It also improves dexterity and keeps your fingers limber.



Recommended Modifications

Stretch beforehand: Treat knitting like a sport and stretch your hands beforehand to avoid pain and cramps. Check out these easy stretches.

Practise in short sessions: This will prevent your hands getting tired and painful, and over time your stamina will increase. Set timers to remind yourself to take a break

Choose different needles: Metal needles are cold and heavier and can aggravate symptoms. Wooden, plastic and casein needles are all warmer and lighter and therefore easier on the hands.

Use circular needles: Circular needles allow the project to rest flat on your lap, meaning you’re not having to support its weight. This puts less pressure on your hands and joints. Knitting can get surprisingly heavy after a while!

Stick to wool: wool is more flexible and elastic than other materials, making it easier to work with.


Crocheting


  1. Crocheting shares many of the benefits of knitting – it can reduce stress, improve focus and help to maintain fine motor skills.


Recommended Modifications

Warm your hands up: Light stretching will help, as will soaking your hands in warm water or using a heating pad.

Use ergonomic crochet hooks: These specialist crochet hooks are designed to reduce pain.

Plan projects: Take regular breaks and give yourself longer to complete bigger projects.


multicoloured balls of wool for knitting

Sculpting & Pottery 


Sculpting with clay and other materials allows you to practise a number of motions including kneading, rolling and moulding. However, there is a risk of tendonitis and repetitive strain injuries, so make sure to take these precautions:


Recommended Modifications

Make sure clay is soft enough: dry clay can be difficult to work with and cause pain. Some suppliers offer clays with higher water content.

Alternate hands: Give each hand a break between pots.

Keep wrists in a natural position: Don’t overextend wrists or hands.


Cross-stitch


Slender needles can be challenge for those with arthritis, but like other needle work cross-stitching does a fantastic job of keeping hands mobile and flexible. With these adjustments, you shouldn’t struggle at all.


Recommended Modifications

Take regular breaks: Shorter sessions will help to reduce discomfort.

Stretch your hands.

Use a floor stand: Not having to hold on to an embroidery hoop can get rid of a lot of discomfort.​​​​


Beading & Jewellery
 Making


Save yourself money on gifts and your wardrobe and take up jewellery making. For those suffering from arthritis, it’s a great way to increase fine motor skills.


Recommended Modifications

Use ergonomic tools: Holding a set of jewellery-making pliers for long periods of time can get painful even if you don’t have arthritis. Ergonomic pliers can make projects much easier; they fit comfortably in the hand and make easy work of fiddly tasks like opening and closing jump rings, or twisting loops in wire.


Colouring


Colouring for adults has taken off in a big way, and it’s a great chilled out activity for anyone. For people with arthritis, the main physical benefit is improved dexterity. Colouring’s also been lauded as a fantastic way to promote mindfulness. This can actually aid pain management as the mental focus can distract from pain and help you to let go of negative thoughts.

Remember: physical and mental health are rarely independent, and colouring’s one way to look after both if your symptoms are getting you down.


Recommended Modifications

Warm up: Rotate wrists and stretch forearms – colouring can get surprisingly tiring!

Take plenty of breaks: Colouring for hours on end can have the opposite of the desired effect, as it can cause hand cramps and back pain.

Use wrist rests: Putting gel pads at the base of your colouring book can keep your hands in a more comfortable position.

Consider ergonomic pens and pencils: Gripping a pencil for a long time can be tough on the hands, so buy stationary that provides additional grip.

Playing Music


Many musicians are affected by arthritis, and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to stop playing. With proper preparation and the right precautions, the finger movements involved can improve dexterity and strength:



Recommended Modifications

Practise for shorter periods of time: Overdoing practice sessions can cause flare-ups, so take regular breaks.

Always stretch and warm up: Stretching your hands and fingers before playing will improve mobility.

A void lifting heavy musical equipment: If you can, avoid lifting heavy equipment like amplifiers as this can put tremendous pressure on your joints.  

Painting


Painting has all the benefits of other creative activities. It improves wellbeing and promotes mindfulness, providing a welcome distraction from the discomfort of arthritis. Like other crafts, it increases mobility and dexterity in the fingers too. On the whole, it’s pretty gentle on the joints, but if necessary there are some adjustments you can make:


Recommended Modifications

Buy easy-grip ergonomic brushes: If you’re struggling to grip a paint brush, specialist paint brushes can do wonders. They come in plenty of different styles and designs, including brushes with softer grips and larger handles.




Woodwork


Woodworking is a good, relatively gentle way to stay active if done right. It means you’re not sat around all day, but are standing and moving, keeping you in shape. The creativity of it can also boost cognitive function and possibly reduce the risk of dementia for older people.


Recommended Modifications

Decide whether you want to use power tools or manual tools: Some people with arthritis are better sticking to manual tools, as the vibration of power tools can aggravate symptoms. Also be wary if you’re on any sort of medication and seek advice from your doctor before operating power tools.

Consult your doctor before heavy lifting: Heavy lifting can cause further damage to vulnerable joints.

Keep blades and tools sharp: Dulled blades and tools are harder to use, so will put more strain on your joints. Arthritis patients should be careful when sharpening by hand too; a sharpening jig is better way to keep your woodworking tools in optimal condition.

Avoid large and heavy tools: If your hands are numb and painful, large tools can be difficult to handle.

Don’t rush: Hand position is critical when woodworking, slow down to make sure you’re not putting unnecessary strain on your hand.

Drawing


Drawing carries many of the same benefits as painting and colouring, promoting creativity and focus in a relaxing way. It’s worth noting that artists without arthritis can get repetitive strain injuries from grasping pencils for too long, so it’s crucial that those with arthritis set up their work station in the correct way.


Recommended Modifications

Follow ergonomic recommendations: Bad posture and sitting position can cause nerve damage and repetitive strain injury when drawing. For instance, resting your elbow on a hard surface can cause you further problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. Keep your workspace as ergonomic as possible to avoid further discomfort in your arms.

Make pencils more ergonomic: Fatter tools are nearly always better for those with arthritis, as it means you have to pinch less to grip and there’s less force involved. Wrapping pencils in foam can be an easy DIY solution, but stationary shops also sell purpose-made pencil grips.

Get paper with less ‘tooth’: ‘Tooth’ describes the texture of paper. The more tooth paper has, the rougher it feels. Arthritis sufferers are better off with a little less ‘tooth’, as rougher paper requires more strokes to fill it in. A softer touch when shading is recommended too.


We’re always being told to go outside more, and spending time in nature can really improve your wellbeing. Time outdoors in your garden, a local park, or the countryside can reduce stress, restore energy and boost short term memory, concentration and creativity. For those with arthritis, regular outdoor activity can remedy the associated pain and stiffness.   

Birdwatching


If you can’t get enough of our feathered friends, bird watching is a fantastic way to get out and about, active, and connected with nature. But ‘warbler neck’ (a sore neck from staring up at the trees and sky) can aggravate or cause certain types of arthritis like cervical arthritis. To avoid this, follow these steps:


Recommended Modifications

Focus on posture: Keep an eye on your posture. Try to keep your back straight, let your shoulders drop down and back, and keep your neck long and relaxed. This can minimise neck and back pain.

Consider positioning: Think of ways to make actually seeing birds easier. The main thing is to try and avoid looking directly upwards, as this causes the most strain. Paths along cliffs, ridges, and hilltops give you a good vantage point to look down into treetops. Walk with the sun behind you to avoid its glare.

Choose small, lightweight binoculars: Binoculars can get surprisingly heavy when you’ve been trekking all day, so smaller, lighter models can be more manageable for those with arthritis. Carrying them around your neck can put unnecessary strain on your muscles, so think about a shoulder harness, or a long strap over one shoulder to make life that little bit easier.

Take regular breaks: It’s important to take breaks and stay hydrated if you’re going to be birdwatching for a while.






Walking & Hiking


Hiking’s an activity that can be adjusted for any fitness level, so you can start off gently and build up the intensity over time. As well as an opportunity to relax in nature, walking has healing properties that can do wonders for arthritis. For example, walking compresses and releases the cartilage in your knees. This gets synovial fluid moving through your joints, nourishing them and flushing them of inflammatory waste products. It also strengthens muscles and builds denser bones.


Recommended Modifications

Warm up beforehand: Before you start, make sure to warm up and stretch properly. At the end you should do cool-down exercises and stretches.

Work up to more difficult hikes: There are some really incredible hikes around that provide a good starting point without being too steep or difficult for beginners. It’s important not to overdo exercise with arthritis, so start out on even terrain and plan shorter walks. Over time, you’ll build strength and be able to tackle more challenging treks.

Use trekking poles: Walking and trekking poles help balance and stability, making it easier to enjoy your walk. A walking pole can also absorb the impact of each step, reducing pressure on your lower body joints. Plus, walking with a pole actually burns more calories, without making it feel any harder!

Wear hiking boots: Going out in any old shoes won’t cut it. Buy proper hiking boots that give plenty of support and comfort, as they’ll more evenly balance the weight on your load bearing joints. It’s also a good idea to make sure they’re broken in before your first outing.

Use braces: If advised by your doctor, knee and ankle braces can provide additional support.


Gardening


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: gardening has a whole bunch of benefits for your physical and mental health. And you don’t have to give it up because of arthritis. In fact, it can help mobility and flexibility, reducing your risk of falls or injury.

Gardening’s a really enjoyable way to get active, but repetitive actions can cause inflammation and pain if you have arthritis. This means that overexertion is often the main risk. Here’s how to enjoy gardening safely and painlessly:


Recommended Modifications

Take breaks and switch between tasks: Don’t spend all day hunched over in one position pruning plants. Move to different jobs often: alternate between more exerting tasks like digging up weeds and less physical jobs like watering with a lightweight hosepipe. This helps you avoid putting excessive pressure on a single joint.

Choose the right tools: Lightweight tools will give you an easier time, and long handles are good too as they mean you don’t have to kneel down or bend over.  Weed pullers, for example, save you from having to pull out weeds and lean down to the ground to collect them. Rubber grips can also be added to the handles of tools to make them easier to grip.

Avoid heavy lifting: Lots of gardening equipment is heavy and cumbersome – for instance, bags of soil or aggregates for a rockery. Either get a friend or family member to lend you a hand, or consider buying several lighter bags. When you are carrying items, lift with your hands and arms. For instance, a tray can be rested on your forearms.

Buy a garden stool: This lets you rest as you work, and reduces the pressure that standing and kneeling puts on joints. However, make sure you get up and move around often, as sitting for too long can make you feel stiff and painful.

Plan a lower maintenance garden: If you feel you’ll struggle, buying lower maintenance plants can be an easy way to reduce day-to-day difficulties. Shrubs like azaleas and lavender, and flowers like crocuses, marigolds and geraniums are all hardy and require low levels of care.


Exercise can often feel like the last thing you want to do with arthritis, but regular physical activity can decrease your pain and increase flexibility. Staying fit and healthy will help you sleep better, and it’ll improve your balance so you’re less likely to fall over.  Plus, the joint movement helps your cartilage to absorb nutrients and get rid of waste, helping to keep joints healthier for longer.  And of course, you’ll get all the regular benefits of exercise: increased fitness and strength, and improved health overall.

In this section, we’ll cover some easier, low-impact activities to get you started. These are good for older people with arthritis, those who aren’t used to exercise, or people with more severe symptoms. If you’re unsure, starting off slowly with low-intensity exercise is normally wise.

If you do have a flare-up, try to modify the amount of activity you’re doing instead of stopping altogether. It can be harder to start up again after a break!

No matter what sport you’re doing, always warm up, stretch, and cool down before and after exercise.

Before starting any sport, you should consult your doctor or physiotherapist for additional advice on suitability and any modifications.

Yoga


Yoga combines holding your body in different poses with coordinated breathing and meditation. It can alleviate joint pain and stiffness, and improve flexibility, range of motion and balance. In terms of mental wellbeing, it reduces stress and anxiety, and helps you to relax more. Overall, it’s a very gentle way to exercise both mind and body simultaneously. For these reasons, it’s ideal for someone with arthritis.


Recommended Modifications

Find an arthritis–friendly yoga class: It’s vital that you find an instructor who’s familiar with arthritis, and can tell when you need a pose modified.

Avoid and adjust poses that may aggravate symptoms: For example, rather than putting all your weight on your fingers during the downward dog pose, place your hands on 2 yoga blocks that are flat on the floor for extra support. Avoid balancing on one foot (e.g during the tree pose) or bending the knee more than 90 degrees. A good instructor should tell you the best ways to modify poses.

Find a comfortable resting pose: Not all resting poses are suitable for those with arthritis, and may cause you a lot more discomfort. Ask your instructor for advice on alternative resting poses.

Pilates


Pilates has some similarities with yoga, but with an increased emphasis on core strength. Like yoga, it concentrates on the building the connection between body and mind, and improving posture, flexibility and balance. When practised regularly, you can expect better flexibility, strength, control and endurance.

Pilates exercises can be adjusted for ability or to suit your symptoms, and can range from incredibly gentle to more demanding.


Recommended Modifications

Ask your instructor for modifications to exercises: An experienced instructor will have the expertise and knowledge to adjust exercises for arthritis.  

If exercises are difficult, try them with a smaller range of motion: This normally means not going as ‘deep’ into a move.





yoga for arthritis

Tai Chi


Tai chi first originated as a martial art in China in the 13th century, but has since spread around the globe. It mixes deep breathing and relaxation with fluid movements, with the end result being a low-impact, peaceful and calming mind-body exercise. It’s taught like a dance and you learn the movements one after the other.

For people with arthritis, regular tai chi can increase mobility in affected joints like the ankle, hip and knee, improve balance and provide pain relief. Like yoga, it offers mental benefits like reduced stress and an improved sense of wellbeing. As it’s so low-impact, it’s manageable even for inactive elderly people too, and can improve balance and prevent falls.  There are even adaptations available for those in wheelchairs!


Recommended Modifications

Wear suitable footwear: Supportive shoes are essential to keep you balanced and comfortable.

Choose a gentler style: There are five major tai chi styles, which are composed of different techniques, forms, styles and approaches. For those with arthritis, the Sun style is very kind to joints, consisting of slow and controlled movements and a high stance.

Use modified exercises when necessary: Find an instructor who’s familiar with adjusting tai chi for people with arthritis The Tai Chi for Health institute offers a full programme of modified tai chi for people with arthritis.

Dancing


With plenty of different styles to choose from, dancing’s got something for everyone. Plus, it can lower knee and hip pain, strengthen muscles, increase coordination, and put you in a more positive mindset. Who cares if you’ve got two left feet? The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following dance classes, but consult your doctor if you’re unsure. And don’t feel you’re limited to just these either!


Recommended Modifications

Zumba: This is a high intensity, upbeat dance class. It does involve lots of motion in the hips, which can be problematic for some people with arthritis. Zumba Gold classes are a gentler version for beginners, people with physical limitations, and older people.

Ballroom dancing: Styles like the waltz and tango are easy to modify so they’re easier on the joints. Just be sure to wear sensible shoes.

Belly dancing: Belly dancing is a slow dance with distinct, isolated movements. It’s also done with both feet flat on the floor. Both these factors make it very accessible for people with arthritis. Be aware that it can take longer to master hip circles and shoulder shimmies if your range of movement is more limited. Over time however, it’s a great way to increase range of motion and flexibility.

Cycling


Cycling is another fantastic low-impact cardiovascular exercise. The knee movements involved help to flush fluid through arthritic joints, which can lubricate them and relieve stiffness and pain. Plus, cycling strengthens leg muscles, which can improve balance and coordination.


Recommended Modifications

Be careful on rough terrain: Although cycling is theoretically very low impact on the knees, cycling over rough terrain can be more damaging. Stick to smoother, paved routes where possible.

Consider a recumbent bike: Recumbent bikes allow you to sit in a laid-back, reclining position rather than upright like traditional bikes. They put no weight on your upper body and give good back support, so they can be beneficial for people with arthritis. However, they can be pricey.

Have the bike professionally fitted: A badly fitted bike can cause more damage than good, so have a professional set yours up properly.

Get a unisex frame: Choosing a unisex frame, rather than a high-bar frame will make mounting your bike much easier.

Stationary Bikes


Stationary bikes are a viable alternative to outdoors cycling. They’ve got many of the same cardiovascular benefits, but it’s easy to do year round as you don’t have to worry about wet and cold weather worsening your symptoms.


Recommended Modifications

Recumbent bikes offer a very low-impact form of exercise, whilst also helping with posture. Correct posture reduces pressure on the spine and hip joints.They also don't require hands or wrists to operate, so this is a great option if these are problem areas for you. 

Stair-stepper machines


Stair steppers do what they say on the tin; they simulate climbing stairs. These machines work your knee to stimulate fluid production and keep your joints lubricated and free of debris. They provide a good cardiovascular workout and help build strength.


Recommended Modifications

Handrails for stability: Hold on to handrails, as arthritis can affecy balance and stability.

Build up the time you spend on the machine: If you always do the same intensity workout, the repetitive motion can actually make symptoms worse.

Elliptical Trainers


Also known as cross-trainers, these machines give you a full body cardiovascular workout whilst putting very little pressure on the key joints in your knees, hips and back. They’re a very good alternative to running for people with arthritis, and as long as you’re exercising correctly they shouldn’t cause any pain.


Make sure you can adjust the settings: Make sure the control panel lets you fine-tune resistance, not just incline. It’s important that you can keep the resistance low to reduce the pressure on your joints.

Take it easy at first: 10 minute sessions are enough to begin with, and choose low incline and resistance settings too. All of this can be built up over time.

Hold on to both handles: Arthritis can impact balance, so make sure you’re holding on to reduce the risk of injury. Plus, the handles on the machine will work out your arms.

Avoid built-in programmes: Elliptical machines often come with pre-set programmes, but they’re more variable. Sudden changes in speed and incline can put unnecessary strain on joints and muscles, and can put you at risk of injury.

Weightlifting


Weightlifting can be intimidating with painful joints, but it’s got proven therapeutic benefits. As well as stopping pain in its tracks, strength training helps to build your muscles, which can then more effectively support and protect arthritic joints.


Get advice from a personal trainer: Certain lifts and exercises may need to be adjusted, so it can be worth putting together a regime with the help of a pro.

Avoid weightlifting when symptoms are bad: A flare-up is not the time for a deadlift. Try to work out when inflammation and pain is at its lowest.

Don’t overexert yourself: This advice goes for anyone. Work your way up from lower weights. You’ll be ready to increase the weight when 12-15 reps at the current weight becomes too easy.

Use gloves and weightlifting straps: These are beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis in their hands, as they can improve your grip.

Don’t skip leg day! Work out your quads and hamstrings evenly to keep your knee stable.

Lighter weights and higher repetitions is generally the best way to avoid flare-ups.

Use slow, smooth movements when lifting. Practice movements without weights first

Doubles Tennis


Tennis involves all the muscles in the body and joints in the body: the hands, elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet. On the one hand, this makes it an effective and enjoyable cardiovascular workout. On the other, it can be a challenge for those with arthritis due to the sheer number of joints involved.

Doubles tennis is often recommended as an alternative to singles, as you’ll get more down time if your symptoms do flare up.


Seek the help of an instructor: It’s important to swing the racket properly to avoid damage to your wrists, shoulder, and back. An instructor can teach you this and help you to hone your technique.

Play on soft courts: This reduces the impact on your joints.

Wear high top shoes for additional ankle support and stability.

Rollerblading


Unlike running, roller blading causes very little impact on your knees, due to the more fluid, slower motions involved. This means it’s a pretty good way for those with arthritis to build up muscle strength and overall fitness.

Go slowly and learn at a pace that works for you. Rushing can lead to injury.

Wear protective padding on your knees, wrists, hands, elbows and head. If you do fall over, there won’t be too much damage caused.

Take regular breaks. 




swimming

Swimming


Swimming is a fantastic all-rounder sport which strengthens your entire body with absolutely zero impact on your joints. 90% of your weight is supported by water, taking the pressure off your body, so you can build muscle and maintain joint structure with greater ease. This means reduced symptoms for you and it can even slow down further joint degeneration! All these qualities make swimming one of the best sports for people with arthritis to try.


Choose the best stroke for your affected joints: if unsure, seek advice from a swimming instructor, or take swimming lessons to learn correct form and technique.

Swim laps in cold water: People with arthritis often find warm water more comfortable, but swimming in hotter water can make your blood pressure shoot up.

Water walking


Water walking is about as complicated as it sounds – it mostly involves walking in the water. But this simple exercise has wide-ranging benefits for arthritis. Water supports your weight, so the walking doesn’t impact on joints. As water is more resistant than air, water walking burns more calories than regular walking, and can really boost fitness, balance and flexibility. Unlike swimming, you can also do this in warmer water, which can sooth discomfort and pain in sore joints.


Don’t walk on your toes: Walk normally, using heel-to-toe progression.

Choose a warm water pool: A warm water pool will be more comfortable and can help to relieve arthritic pain.

Water Aerobics


Water aerobics classes are either very low impact, or zero impact when done with a floatation device in deeper water. Classes can vary in intensity from gentle stretching and flexibility training, to more intense conditioning and resistance training.

If you’ve lost motion, flexibility or strength due to your condition, water aerobics can be hugely beneficial. You’ll be able to exercise without the pain you get on land! This means being able to strengthen muscles that are impossible to work out of the water. Plus, water naturally reduces swelling in limbs, reducing discomfort further.


Incorporate more resistance equipment as you improve: This will help you to build strength at a gradual pace.

Choose a warm water pool: A warm water pool will be more comfortable and can help to relieve arthritic pain.

Cross-Country Skiing


That’s right – not even skiing is off the table! Another full body workout, cross-country skiing is more suitable than downhill skiing for people with arthritis. This is because there’s less need to constantly twist and turn your knees, and the movement involved is steady with low impact. It can help to relieve pain in the knees, burn calories and strengthen muscles


Avoid if your symptoms are moderate or severe: Skiing is better suited for people with milder arthritic symptoms.

Take lessons to learn proper technique and coordination: This reduces the risk of injury and a qualified instructor should be able to make adjustments for arthritis. 





Golf


Golf can keep your joints flexible and strong, but arthritis can get in the way of playing your best game. Aching hands and wrists can be an obstacle, as can stiff joints generally. Luckily, you don’t have to leave the green just yet. There are several ways to make golf more manageable.


Warm up: If you neglected warming up in the past, it’s time to end that bad habit. Warming up protects your joints, helps you to retain range of motion and lowers the chance that you’ll injure yourself.

Buy adaptive equipment: Buy an oversized golf club grip to compensate for weaker hands – it’ll give you more control. It’s also worth choosing a graphite shaft over a steel one, as they’re lighter and easier to control. A low compression golfball may also be more suitable, as they’re made for people with slower swing speeds and are designed to travel further.

Seek advice on swing techniques: There are many ways to adjust your swing to match your needs. Speak to an instructor or physiotherapist about techniques to help your joints.


Arthritis can turn certain household tasks like cooking into much more arduous chores than they need to be. On top of that, rain and cold can aggravate symptoms, so it can sometimes end up feeling like you’re stuck inside unable to do anything! Here’s some ideas for ways to spend those rainy days.

Reading


Getting lost in a book is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon. Reading can reduce stress, improve focus and provide a welcome distraction from symptoms. However, these same symptoms can make holding a book challenging, as you might find gripping causes pain in your hands and wrists.


Rest your book somewhere: Either buy a book stand, or simply rest your book on another surface or your lap. This means you’re not having to support its weight with achy wrists.

Consider an e-reader: Kindles and tablets are far lighter than hefty hardback books, and for that reason they’re a good choice for people with arthritis.




Puzzles


Number and word games like Sudoku and crosswords can provide a welcome respite from the discomfort of arthritis. They’re hugely beneficial, as they’ll keep your brain engaged whilst giving your body a much needed rest. 


Use pen grips: If you’re using a pen or pencil, add a foam or rubber grip to make gripping it easier.

Consider an app version: For some people, mobile versions of puzzle games might be more manageable. This is particularly true for people who struggle with a weak grip, as it bypasses the need for a pen altogether!




Cooking


What you’re eating can have a big impact on how you’re feeling. Cooking nutritious, balanced meals can fight inflammation and keep you feeling on form. But, if you’re in pain, cooking can be the last thing you want to do and it can be difficult to step up to the plate.


Chopping: Chopping can be one of the hardest and potentially risky parts of cooking when you have arthritis, as stiffness and pain in your fingers can make you clumsier than usual. Buying pre-cut fruit and vegetables will save you this hassle when your symptoms are bad. Alternatively, use a food processor or hand-held electric blender on whole produce.

Make the most of leftovers: Cook more than you need and freeze the leftovers later. This can save you the trouble of cooking when you’re really not feeling like it.

Buy padded cooking utensils for an easier grip.

Invest in a slow cooker: Just chuck in your ingredients in the morning and come home in the evening to a delicious hot meal, with just one dish to wash at the end!

Use lightweight pans: Lighter saucepans with 2 handles are easier to transport across the kitchen, especially if they’ve got water in them.