The summer has arrived. Most parts of the country are seeing the hottest weather of the year this month. For people with arthritis, heat can cause an increase in flare-ups. Humidity and high temperatures increase swelling in the body, which is why your pain might seem to increase this time of year. Changes in barometric pressure can also cause joints to tighten up.

The good news is, there are some things you can do to relieve your discomfort. Here are some simple tips on managing arthritis in the summer.

1. Stay hydrated.

Hydration is critical all year round, but it’s essential in the summer. If you allow yourself to become dehydrated, your joints will become less lubricated, and your pain will increase. Cartilage, which is mainly made of water, is responsible for protecting your joints, so don’t take this tip lightly!

Take a water bottle with you everywhere you go and drink, even when you feel like you’re not thirsty. Once you are thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

2. Stay active but safe.

It might be tempting to stay on the couch when the weather feels unbearable, but it’s important to remain active in the summer. However, make sure that you’re safe and don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and rest when you feel like you need to rest.

Water exercises are a great way to get moving during the summer months. The water will keep you cool and provide some pain relief for your joints.

3. Stay cool.

One of the best ways to manage your arthritis in the summer is to make efforts to stay cool. Staying cool will help to reduce swelling and allow you to continue functioning as usual.

To stay cool, avoid being out when temperatures at are their peak. Usually, the hottest temperatures occur in the afternoon, so try to plan most of your day’s activities in the morning or evening. Also, be sure to dress comfortably and appropriately for the hot weather. Light colors attract less heat, so they’re usually the better clothing choice. Also, choose comfortable but supportive footwear that is comfortable on your joints.