While arthritis can make once-simple tasks much more difficult, that doesn’t mean you have to give up the things that you love doing. Keeping up with your hobbies despite this condition is actually much easier than you might think—all it takes is a little ingenuity! Here are five tips that will keep arthritis from stealing the fun in your life.
If your favorite hobbies involve physical activity, the best thing you can do is keep at them. Numerous studies have shown that being active helps reduce the pain associated with arthritis as well as delays the onset of more severe symptoms. You obviously want to take precautions not to push yourself too hard, but most moderate forms of physical activity will provide you with pain-relieving benefits without any increased risk of injury.
You may not be able to enjoy your hobbies in exactly the same ways as you did before developing arthritis, but that doesn’t mean you must give them up entirely. Making modifications to your pre-existing activities can be a good way to keep up with the things you enjoy while still respecting your physical limitations. One easy modification is to reduce the time you spend on them daily. For example, if you would normally spend two hours a day doing needlepoint or a similar activity, try reducing that time down to just one hour to minimize the stress on your joints.
Use specialized equipment.
Sometimes all you need to continue enjoying your favorite hobbies is a little help from specialized equipment. There are many companies today that produce arthritis-friendly products that will allow you to maintain your interests and independence without dealing with pain. For example, if you enjoy cooking, invest in some ergonomically shaped utensils or pots and pans with two handles to reduce the strain from lifting them. However, these tools don’t just stop at the kitchen—there are others available that can help you with tasks from gardening to fishing.
Recruit a friend.
Getting a partner involved in your hobbies is a great way to ensure you’ve got a helping hand if something becomes too painful, but it’s also a nice way to share your interests with a friend or other loved one. Additionally, bringing someone else into the mix may be so much fun that you start to forget some of the pain that arthritis is causing you.
Look for new interests.
Sometimes there’s just no avoiding it—arthritis may completely prevent you from pursuing the hobbies you once loved. However, this doesn’t mean that your life has to be devoid of fun and fulfillment. Looking for new activities that are more arthritis-friendly helps you not only occupy your time with meaningful work but also opens the door for new interests you might not have ever expected.