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5 Things to Do in Long Island When You Have Arthritis

An arthritis diagnosis doesn’t mean you need to stop enjoying life or give up activities you love. In fact, staying active and continuing to enjoy your favorite hobbies, or even finding new ones that bring you joy, is a key part of managing arthritis pain and discomfort. And with so many fun things to do in Long Island, you might discover that your problem isn’t that you can’t find ways to enjoy yourself, but rather that you have too many options to choose from. 

The doctors at South Island Orthopedics understand that you want to keep living while managing your arthritis. They are committed to setting and providing the standards for the best orthopedic care and are experts in the diagnosis and management of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions that cause joint pain and discomfort. With their help, you can keep your symptoms under control and enjoy your favorite activities. 

Family with two young children and camera or binoculars look at a book outdoors in the spring.Take Advantage of the Best of Long Island 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), physical activity is beneficial to people with arthritis. Low-impact activities that don’t put excess stress on the body can help alleviate pain and stiffness, increase joint function, and improve your mood and feelings of overall well-being. 

The CDC recommends modifying activities to be more joint-friendly, following the SMART method: 

  • Start with low-intensity activities.
  • Modify activities when needed
  • Aim for only “joint-friendly” activities.
  • Recognize safe places and ways to be active.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new exercises.

The good news? There are plenty of fun things you can do in Long Island, Woodbury, Cedarhurst, and the surrounding area spanning both the South and North shores that adhere to the SMART guidelines. Whether you want to get out and enjoy the sunshine, get creative, or enjoy some of the area’s natural beauty, these ideas for things to do in Long Island throughout both Suffolk and Nassau counties will inspire you. 

The Best Things to Do in Long Island This Spring 


Walking is one of the best exercises when you have any type of arthritis. Not only is it simple and free, but it can help you keep your weight under control which reduces the stress on your joints. The Arthritis Foundation recommends changing up your walking route occasionally or exploring new places to keep your workouts interesting—and thankfully, Long Island is full of scenic, safe places to walk. 

In the Woodbury area, explore the trails at Stillwell Woods or Trail View State Park. In Cedarhurst, Cedarhurst Park has paved walkways. Or, for one of the coolest things to do on Long Island, visit the Sands Point Preserve near Port Washington. In addition to a nearly two-mile-long trail, the preserve is home to well-maintained gardens, and Gould Castle, an impressive mansion once owned by the Guggenheim Family. 

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2. Bird Watching 

Bird watching is recommended for people with arthritis for several reasons. For starters, it involves heading outdoors, giving you fresh air and a nice boost of vitamin D. And bird watching typically requires at least some walking, so it’s an easy, gentle exercise, even if you aren’t up for a strenuous hike. 

In fact, bird watching has become a popular thing to do on Long Island during COVID. The New York Times reported a surge in the hobby’s popularity last year, with a record-setting number of sightings reported on Global Big Day, an annual bird-spotting event. 

Happy older couple enjoys looking at flowers in bloom in the local botanical garden.If you’re interested in learning more about bird watching or want to get out there and start watching birds yourself, Long Island is home to multiple Audubon chapters and bird sanctuaries. Most chapters host guided bird walks and other events for amateur and expert ornithologists.

3. Gardening 

Gardening also became a popular thing to do in Long Island during quarantine, and that enthusiasm shows no signs of slowing down. 

Although gardening can sometimes be challenging for people with arthritis or conditions that limit their movement, the American Occupational Therapy Association has some tips to make it easier on your joints:

  • Keep your garden small. Container gardening or raised beds are ideal.
  • Get assistance with heavy lifting. Don’t try to lift heavy bags of soil, mulch, etc. yourself. If you do have to move things, break them down into smaller loads and use a cart.
  • Use tools with long, padded handles to protect your joints from pressure and pain. Choose tools that have features like a spring-action automatic opening to reduce work. 
  • Sit or kneel on a padded surface and change positions often to reduce stiffness. 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your garden, or you want to enjoy beautiful spaces without work, consider a day trip to one of the many public botanical gardens in the area, such as the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay and Clark Botanical Garden in Albertson. Strolling around a garden is a fun thing to do as a couple on Long Island, and gives you the chance to get some exercise. Many of the public gardens also offer family activities, including children’s gardens, educational programs, and guided walks.

4. Arts and Crafts 

Another activity that involves walking is a visit to the art museum. Long Island’s most-renowned art museum, the Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA), has reopened and offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits and installations to explore. It’s a fun activity for adults on Long Island, but the museum offers a wide array of children’s programming as well. 

 group of middle age adult men and women practicing yoga outdoors in the springIf you would rather create art, which can help maintain dexterity in your hands, NCMA offers a range of workshops, including virtual classes, to get your creative juices flowing. 

5. Yoga 

Yoga is another gentle exercise that can reduce joint pain. It’s also helpful for maintaining flexibility and balance. The Arthritis Foundation also notes that the mindfulness component of yoga practice can help reduce stress, which can help you better manage the symptoms of arthritis

Long Island has an abundance of yoga studios, classes, and workshops, so there’s undoubtedly one that will meet your needs. Many studios offer online or outdoor classes as well to maintain social distancing and safety. 

Turn to South Island Orthopedics for the Arthritis Support You Need 

Arthritis can get in the way of you doing things you love, but it doesn’t have to. The doctors at South Island Orthopedics are committed to helping you maintain—and improve—your quality of life. They combine non-surgical and surgical techniques to provide pain relief and improved function, all in their comfortable, family-like atmosphere. You can expect compassionate, high-quality orthopedic care customized to your needs. Request an appointment today and do more things that you love. 

Posted in: Arthritis