We’re finally able to put on our swimsuits, tank tops and flip-flops and spend our days basking in the glow of the hot sun. But for people living with chronic pain, it can be extremely difficult to enjoy the activities summer has to offer.
If you’re living in pain, the arrival of summer might bring about a completely different set of feelings, ones that aren’t quite as joyful. To you, summer means expectations of spending more time outside, more time adding stress to your aching joints or an increase in severe neck pain. Maybe you’re the type that pushes through the pain and takes advantage of the warm weather activities with your family. Or maybe the pain is just too unbearable that you continue life as usual, sitting at home and not being active any more than required. It doesn’t matter which type of person you are, the fact remains the same: pain gets in the way.
Did you know that there are a number of summer activities which can actually help strengthen your aching joints and relieve some of your pain, allowing you to get outside and enjoy these few months with your family? Let’s take a look.
1. Go Swimming!
What better way to enjoy the hot, sweltering heat of summer than taking a refreshing dip in your backyard pool or a nearby lake? Swimming is a great way to have fun and relax with the whole family. It’s also a fantastic aerobic exercise that will strengthen your muscles and joints, without creating additional wear and tear. Did you know that being submerged in water naturally lowers your blood pressure?
2. Go on a Bike Ride!
Who doesn’t love going on a bike ride on a nice sunny day? Gather the family, strap on your helmets and hit the road. Riding a bike is a low impact activity that’s not only fun, it’s a great way to exercise and will improve your overall fitness. You’ll also be making memories that your family will cherish forever!
3. Take a Nap in a Hammock!
With all the excess activities we take part in during the summer, your body needs time to rejuvenate! Take this opportunity to relax in a hammock under your favorite tree. Your body needs rest to combat inflammation and heal your aching joints. What better place than a swinging hammock, chilling in the shade with a gentle breeze?
4. Take a Hike!
Lace up your walking shoes and head out of the city for a hike where you can enjoy the great outdoors! Try heading somewhere you’ve never been. A new lake, waterfall or even a trail at a local park, just get up and walk! Need suggestions in your area? Ask your Facebook or Twitter friends for suggestions, someone will know a secret spot you don’t want to miss!
5. Hot Yoga in the Sun!
Yoga has become the go-to technique for promoting relaxation and exercise while also being a source of physical therapy which encourages overall wellness within your body. Did you know that performing yoga in hot weather helps improve your flexibility and increases its effectiveness? So head to a local beach, lakeshore or even your backyard for a little downward dog in the sun!
Getting out and enjoying the heat of summer doesn’t have to be the cause of additional aches and pains, in fact there are tons of activities that are known to decrease joint pain and promote overall wellness.
Start Slowly for Pain Free Fun!
An important rule to remember is to start slowly. Don’t throw yourself fully into any activity, but work your way in gradually. Give your body time to adapt to the increasing levels of exertion. One of the best ways to ensure your body is ready for summer is to get a chiropractic adjustment. It’ll help realign your spine, taking pressure off of your discs and joints, which will help avoid injuries.
Don’t let pain keep you locked up indoors this summer! Try some of our suggestions, come up with some of your own ideas, and take back your summer!
By Charlie Goldston, D.C.