Top 4 Tips for a Pain and Injury Free Winter
Winter is well and truly here. And as the cold weather creeps in many of us experience health challenges that can make everyday life rough. Whether it’s sore joints and muscles, colds and flus, or even a skiing injury, many of us suffer from adjusting to the cold and many people will find their overall health compromised at some point during the winter months.
Here are some tips to keep those winter pains at bay, to prevent injury and maintain your health during the winter season.
1. Be Active
We often lead very sedentary lives, and in the winter this is exacerbated. We sit at work, we sit in the car, and we sit at home in front of the telly. All of these places can be temperature controlled, and when it’s cold outside we tend to rug up and snuggle down more. Our regular activities, especially ones outside, often drop off. This can lead to more aches and pains. Regular activity can help maintain flexibility, as well as muscle and joint function. So get out there and start moving and if you can maintain your regular activities, or modify them so you are doing them indoors, your body will thank you!
2. Stay Warm
A lot of us who are already experiencing joint pain, be it neck stiffness, achy knees, or shoulder soreness, know that the cold weather can lead to further pain and increased problems. A major reason this occurs is barometric or atmospheric pressure. When the air gets colder, the fluid we have in every single joint in our body (known as synovial fluid) moves less freely. Usually, it acts as a lubricant that helps each joint function properly, but the cold temperature causes each joint to slightly stiffen up. Furthermore, winter can make our muscles stiff, this is because they contract to prevent loss of body heat and to keep you warm. So in winter it is important to stay warm, especially when you are changing environments e.g. walking from work to the train station or leaving home and sitting in the car with the window down.
3. Keep Hydrated
When we are cold, we often forget to stay hydrated. This prevents our body from eliminating waste properly and can lead to feeling more stiff and achy. Also with artificial heat blasting from heaters, vents, and radiators, we tend to become very dehydrated. It is important to drink just as much water as you would in the summer months, so try swapping out cold water for hot water with some lemon, and try to set yourself a target to reach every day.
4. Visit Your Chiropractor
Having regular Chiropractic care and maintenance during the winter months can help relieve the pain and stiffness associated with the colder weather. And If you’ve never had chiro before, this could be the best time to give it a try. Don’t wait until September to get checked, by that time when the cold weather injuries may have already happened and are getting worse. Make sure your body is performing properly by allowing your spine and joints to move in their normal ranges of motion. Regular chiropractic care helps decrease nerve interference by correcting and reducing structural misalignments in our body. We wouldn’t expect our car to work correctly without proper alignment, why would that be any different with our bodies? Let’s be proactive this winter; your body will thank you!