Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be hard on your joints, but it doesn’t have to impede your social life! While certain activities — like rock wall climbing, skiing, or knitting — may aggravate your swollen joints, plenty of other options are available.

Check out just some of your choices in this “Do This, Not That” guide.

RA

Now this doesn’t mean you should forgo a movie date, but getting some exercise will be more beneficial to you in the long term. Exercise is good not only for your body, but also for your mind.

Walking is one of the best exercises for those with RA, particularly because it can help increase muscle activity without adding too much stress on your joints. Best of all, you can do it anywhere, anytime, and you don’t need any special equipment. So grab a friend, tie up your shoelaces, and take a walk around the block.

Who doesn’t love washing the day away by soaking in a warm bubble bath? For those with RA, it can have some extra benefits. shows that warm water therapy can help reduce pain, loosen joints, decrease swelling, and improve circulation. If you’re too impatient or antsy to just sit there, try doing some simple stretches. You can even use a tennis ball to ease out knots in your lower or upper back.

Yes, an ice cream cone is a nostalgic pleasure. But when you have RA, you’re going to feel much better if you skip out on dessert and sip a cup of tea instead. Green tea has extra for those with RA: It can help reduce inflammation and pain. If you’re looking for something sweet, add a teaspoon of raw honey to your drink. It’s a natural sweetener, so it’s less likely to trigger any additional inflammation.

Being social is important for those with RA, but not every type of social gathering is going to give you an A+ as far as your RA management is concerned. Inviting your friends to a charity event is not only more valuable to your community, but also more memorable too. Studies have found that older adults who volunteer benefit both socially and mentally.