Summer Exercise Tips

By Arthritis Queensland's Health Promotion Team (December, 2020)

Being physically active is important for our health and wellbeing, and also helps in the management of arthritis and arthritis pain. 

But when the Australian summer hits, keeping up our regular exercise habits can be hard and may even be dangerous if not planned properly. 

Consider the below tips to help keep your exercise routine safe and suitable this summer.

Keep hydrated

This goes without saying - consistently drinking water throughout the day is important at any time of the year. But in the warmer weather, dehydration can happen quickly.

The exact amount of water we need to drink depends on a range of factors like temperature, our body size and muscle mass, and the type and intensity of activity.

When planning to exercise, it’s important to ensure you’re hydrated before you start, and then keep those fluids up during and after exercising!

Additionally, avoid exercising in the hottest and sunniest times of the day where intense heat and sweat loss can cause dehydration to happen fast. 

Pace yourself

If you live with arthritis, learning to pace is an important part of daily life to help make the most of your energy.

Carefully planning and organising daily activities can help you balance work and rest, and make the most of your energy when feeling your best. Pacing helps you to do what you want to do without increasing your pain or fatigue. Examples for exercising:

  • Planning small bouts of physical activity across the day or week with suitable rest times allocated between (rather than using up all your energy in one intense workout that wipes you out for a week). 
  • Prioritising your daily activities and focusing on the hardest ones or the ones you enjoy most (whether physical activity or another task) when feeling your best. 
  • Understanding how exercise affects your body and energy levels so you can schedule your day accordingly. E.g. if you feel exhausted after, you might schedule it for later in the day where you can wind down and rest afterwards. Or, if it helps to boost your energy, you might schedule it earlier to lead into the rest of your day. 


Listen to your body

Although trying to plan and organise your week can help you to pace, things don't always go to plan. Many things can throw our arthritis a curve ball, including changes in weather. 

Although exercise has its benefits for arthritis, overdoing it can have the opposite effect. If you're not quite up to it at the time you planned, try slowing down, doing less or re-plan for another time. 


Ease up

Avoid overdoing it and find gentler exercise options. Have you considered these options:

  • Look online – Now more than ever there’s such a variety of exercise options available online – whether you're looking for something free/low cost, pre-recorded or live, one-off workouts or a series/program, there's something for everyone. Best of all, you can do this from the comfort and coolness of your own home. 
  • Low-impact exercises - have you tried options like Tai Chi, swimming, water aerobics, or yoga? Most local councils offer a range of free or low cost exercise classes for residents - find out what your local council offers!
  • Some is better than none - find ways to incorporate small bouts of activity into your day, like parking a little further from your destination, taking walk meetings (meetings held when taking a walk) or walking an extra lap of the grocery store. Things like housework, gardening or Christmas decorating can even be a workout in themselves.

Check out these Fitness Tips from Healthier.Happier. Everyone is different, find out what works best for you!

Finally, before starting any new exercise its important you speak with your healthcare team to make sure it is safe and right for you and your type of Arthritis. 

How can we help? 


Always talk to your doctor and/or health professional before starting an exercise program. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can suggest safe exercises and make sure you are doing your exercises correctly.


More information and support 

Register for the Arthritis Moves online exercise program 

Browse our Arthritis Insights articles for more tips on exercising for arthritis. 

Order your free information pack for more tips on managing your arthritis, exercise and pain. 

Have questions? Call our free infoline on 1800 011 041 to speak with a member of our health team.