Does winter weather really affect arthritis?

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    Does cold, damp weather make arthritis worse?

    A lot of people swear that it does, but the research on this has been inconsistent.

    "There have been several studies that have shown that cold weather seems to make people's arthritis worse, but other studies haven't been able to confirm that,” said Dr. John Swarztberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

    A study by Northwestern University, published a few years ago, found that inclement weather may make arthritis worse, because it limits your activity.

    "We've known for many years that exercise really improves arthritis, almost all kinds of arthritis. And during the winter months, the study from Northwestern showed, people exercise on the average of almost three hours a week less,” Swartzberg explained. “So, the explanation why during the winter months that arthritis may be worse, may be related, not so much to the weather, but to the lack of exercise."

    The takeaway from the study: Stay active, even when the weather's cold and dreary. Find a way to exercise at home or go to the gym. Just keep movin.'

    More Info: What is your winter IQ?

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