alt=two people riding a recumbent bike and a road bike in the summer

RA-Friendly Summer Hobbies

Once again summer is just about here! The days are longer and the weather is warmer allowing ample opportunity to get outside and enjoy your favorite summer hobbies. Whether you have RA or not, summer is often the time people become most active doing the things they love.

5 Summer hobbies I love

Are you someone who enjoys gardening, beaching, swimming, or biking? Even with RA, all these summer hobbies can be doable with a little modification and listening to your body.

Gardening with modification

I absolutely love gardening and therefore I love when the weather warms up and the flowers start to make themselves known. It’s such a beautiful time of year. With RA, gardening can sometimes be very strenuous on your joints especially when doing repetitive moments like weeding or shoveling.

Some ways to modify gardening to make it easier are to use large handled gardening tools, gardening in raised beds (which requires less bending), and try to do a little bit of weeding each day. Of course, listen to your body. Some days, gardening isn’t on the docket and you might need to revert to a less active hobby.

Reading with a goal

Grabbing a good book to relax and read outside is a special summer hobby that I particularly love. Reading is not very strenuous on the joints or body making it a great hobby for when you have a RA flare.

If you are unable to tolerate your favorite hobbies during a flare, think about joining a book club or tracking your read books with a website such as Goodreads. I love seeing what my friends and family are reading as well and creating a fun community to be a part of.

Biking with ergonomics in mind

Biking is a great form of gentle exercise for people living with RA. When it comes to exercise, biking is less taxing on your joints as a low-impact exercise.1

Another great joint-saving option is to use a recumbent bike, or a different variation of bicycle that allows the rider to sit back, resting on the frame.1 Look for a bike that is lightweight, easy to handle, and ergonomically designed so you'll be more likely to get out and enjoy the ride.

Hiking with flexibility

Hiking is a great way to get outside and be active because it really can be tailored to your level of fitness and endurance. For example, if I am feeling achy and stiff one day, I might take a short leisurely walk on a flat path. In comparison to a day where I have little pain, I might do a more active hike with my family that helps build muscle and endurance. That’s why hiking is one of my favorite hobbies in the summer because it really is enjoyable no matter what you can put into it that day.

Beaching with preparation

The beach is a wonderful place to sit and relax in a gorgeous setting. The beach can also be an exhausting and achy place for people with RA, especially without a proper chair. Look for an ergonomic chair that will provide proper support and allow you to go from sitting to standing easily.1  In addition, make sure you are prepared with sufficient water and snacks, sun cover, and buddies to help along the way.

What are your favorite RA-friendly summer hobbies? Share with us below!

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