If you are suffering from a debilitating condition such as arthritis, the first thing you need to know is you are certainly not alone. The Arthritis Foundation has estimated that around 54 million people in the U.S. currently suffer from a joint disease known as arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is one of the more common forms of arthritis that usually affects seniors or older adults. This condition is caused by cartilage that starts to wear down in the joints.
When osteoarthritis starts to increase in severity, it often affects mobility, making it painful and uncomfortable to engage in many activities that you may have once enjoyed.
Fortunately, it is not just doom-and-gloom since there are many arthritis-friendly activities that you can participate in to ease the stiffness and pain linked with this condition.
There are even hobbies for arthritic hands that can be emotionally and physically therapeutic for the sufferer.
Popular Hobbies For Arthritic Hands
Doctors usually advise patients with arthritis to participate in some form of physical activity. Low-impact exercises can be fantastic to help reduce pain.
Yoga is one of these exercises that has already been proven to be highly effective when it comes to managing pain caused by arthritis.
It helps to strengthen and loosen the muscles that surround the joints. As the muscles start to become stronger, they take over the force that the joints used to handle. This results in less friction and less inflammation.
When you take up yoga as a hobby, you will soon start to notice how your mobility will improve. Before you get started, let your instructor know about your condition so they can advise you on the best yoga hobby exercises for your condition.
- Find classes that are arthritis-friendly. Instructors that have knowledge and experience with arthritis can give you the support that you need to find modified poses that will reduce strain or pressure on the joints.
- Adjust or avoid poses. Poses that may aggravate your symptoms should either be modified or avoided.
- Find a comfortable resting pose. Ask the instructor to recommend an alternative resting pose.
2. Memory Workouts
If you are no longer able to participate in certain types of physical activities due to arthritis in your hands, you may want to consider a few activities that involve your mind.
You can benefit greatly from cognitive stimulation and memory workouts. It may also be fun or beneficial to learn another language, which will also help to keep your mind stimulated and active.
When you spend time working in your garden, this supports flexibility and mobility throughout your body. This is especially true when it comes to your hands.
Pulling out weeds and planting flowers or vegetables is a great exercise for your fingers. Chat with the garden shop in your local area about the plants that won’t require a lot of maintenance. When gardening, make sure you take a break when needed.
Cooking will strengthen your wrists and hands through stirring, mixing, and chopping. You should also choose a diet that contains food that lower inflammation to provide even more benefits.
Try to use ergonomic knives and any other helpful kitchen aid to make these tasks or this hobby less painful and more enjoyable.
5. Crocheting Or Knitting
Working with wool or yarn and crocheting hooks or knitting needles will help to keep your fingers moving. This also helps to prevent stiffness.
Choose tools that feel comfortable in your hands or come with ergonomic handles which will help to prevent or ease the pain. Stretch your hands and your fingers before you get started.
- Stretch beforehand. You can avoid cramps and pain by making sure your joints are loosened up before you get to work on your masterpiece.
- Use wool. Wool is a material that is more elastic and flexible when compared to other materials.
- Keep your sessions brief. Stick to short sessions when you are just starting it out to avoid fatigue and pain. As time goes by, you will start to notice that you will be able to increase your sessions.
- Use plastic or wood needles. Plastic or wooden needles are an excellent alternative to heavy and cold metal needles.
Painting can be a therapeutic hobby for people with arthritis. A canvas and a paintbrush are excellent ways to increase flexibility and mobility in your wrists and your fingers. Choose light brushes with ergonomic handles, which will help to limit discomfort and pain.
There is not much that compares to curling up with a great book. Hobby reading helps to reduce stress, enhance focus, and to distract you from painful thoughts and arthritic symptoms.
- Support for your book. You can either invest in a bookstand or prop your book up on either your lap or a surface so that you are not supporting the weight of the book.
- Use an E-reader. Tablets and kindles usually weigh less than books. You can also make the text bigger to make reading even easier.
- Audiobooks. It is not always necessary to read your books visually. You can also choose to download your favorite audiobooks and listen to them instead.
Adult coloring is a hobby that has become extremely popular over the last few years. There are many books to choose from, which include simple patterns to more extravagant mandellas.
These all allow you to create stunning images that match up to your personal preferences. Coloring is a fantastic mindfulness activity, while the focus on the images will help to distract your mind from pain and negative thoughts.
- Warm-up. Before you get started, make sure you stretch each finger, rotate the wrists, and choose a comfortable sitting position.
- Rests for your wrists. Rest your wrists on something comfortable such as gel pads.
- Take breaks. Make sure you take a break every now and then to relax the fingers and the wrists.
- Use ergonomic pencils and pens. Look for stationery that feels comfortable and provides a secure grip.
9. Water Walking
Water walking is a fantastic method to get your body moving while placing no pressure or stress on any of your joints. Exercising in water is fantastic for conditions such as arthritis since the water will support all your weight.
When you move through the water, these activities will boost fitness, balance, and flexibility. You will also burn a lot more calories in water walking when compared to the same exercise on land.
- Use A heel-toe action. Avoid walking on your toes. Rather stick to your usual heel-toe action.
- Choose a warm water pool. Water walking should be done in a warm pool to help soothe arthritic pain.
10. Water Aerobics
Water aerobics is one of the best hobbies to try for people with arthritis. The stretching positions and the zero to very low impact on the joints increase flexibility. At the same time, water aerobic classes are often fun social events where you can meet new people.
- Resistance. Include resistant equipment to increase your strength and mobility.
- Choose a warm water pool. Warm water is excellent for relieving pain caused by arthritis.
Arthritis is one of the common health problems that mainly affects the elderly and seniors across the U.S. However, it shouldn’t be inhibiting your quality of life or the ability to start a new hobby.
It is still very possible for you to enjoy an engaging hobby that will help you to decrease the pain that your arthritis is causing and to boost your mobility, just like one of the 10 mentioned above.
If you are having mobility problems due to your arthritis, learn more about the best hobbies for limited mobility here.