Cold weather can be a pain in more ways than one. The winter weather can wreak havoc on our body causing stiffness and soreness. However we can prevent many aches & pains by following a few simple tips.
But First….. Why do we ache more in winter?
Here are 5 common reasons
1. We tend to move less when it’s cold:
a) This results in our muscles tightening & our joints stiffening which results in pain.
b) Reduced movement also reduces the circulation in & around the soft tissues & joints resulting in reducing supply of nutrients & increased build-up of waste products causing pain.
c) We are less motivated to exercise or go to the gym when it’s cold.
2. Posture changes:
We tend to round our bodies, raise our shoulders & tense our muscles to keep warm. Sustained poor posture again will result in pain.
We often drink less water in winter because we don’t sweat as much or feel thirsty. We also tend to drink more caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee to keep warm. They might make us feel nice temporarily, but the caffeine is a diuretic and dehydration can result in more aches as it reduces the body’s ability to remove waste products.
4. Vitamin D deficiency:
Less exposure to the sun in winter may influence our Vitamin D levels which may result in aches & pains.
5. Mood Changes:
The cold & darker weather may have a negative influence on our mood. This again will cause us to move less, become stiff & tight and change our posture. If we feel a bit off mentally, we may feel a bit off physically.
So what can we do to avoid the Winter Aches & Pains?
Move & keep moving! The more you move, the better you will feel!
- Dress Appropriately: Generally & for Sport. Keeping the muscles warm will reduce the risk of injury.
- Cover up vulnerable areas: Wear a scarf for your neck & a singlet for your back. Layer up.
- Keep Hydrated: Keep drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day & less caffeinated drinks. Try some herbal teas.
- Keep the house & work environment warm: This will help to avoid poor posture.
- Plan to exercise: Create set times to exercise. Invite a friend to join you to keep motivated.
- Hotpacks: A good way to relax your muscles.
- Have a massage: This improves circulation, relaxes the muscles and eases stiff joints. Plus it helps you to feel good.
- Vitamin D supplement: Take this if indicated or try to get into the sunshine daily for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remember: Moving & Exercising help keep the winter blues away as it releases good brain chemicals that influences mood in a positive way.
If your brain feels good, your body feels good too.