Every year we say the same thing, I can’t believe it’s here, it feels so fast, this means…. winter. Jackets, layers, mittens, hats and boots.
We go, sometimes overnight, from light weight clothing to heavy weight layers, from warm sunny days to cold snowy ones and as the weather changes, so will our bodies.
Cold temperatures can have a profound effect on our bodies and the time change can wreak havoc on everybody’s time clock. It’s dark in the morning which makes getting up a bit more difficult, and dark in the afternoon before it’s even time to go home for the evening. These two things can cause lack of motivation, depression and because of the temperature drops outdoor activities can come to a virtual halt.
This is also the time of year where everything starts to ache and get a little stiff. I hear people complain about it all the time and I have a few suggestions on ways to combat the cold weather blues.
Tip #1: Keep moving
Cold weather is linked to joint pain is because people are less likely to work out when it’s chilly and damp. Being a couch potato is bad news for your joints because exercise helps lubricate them to prevent pain and moving your body helps keep your muscles loosened and more pliable.
If your workout is an outdoor one, consider bringing your workout indoors — and don’t overdo it! Choose low-impact aerobic moves that are easy on joints, such as walking, pilates or tai chi, which will enhance not only your strength but also your range of motion. Lifting weights can also help because it builds joint-supporting muscles. Also, don’t let the cold weather prevent you from getting your exercise in whatever it may be, even if it’s a mall walk.
Tip #2: Be mindful of the food you eat
Load up on foods rich in:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Think salmon and nuts to curb inflammation.
- Vitamin K. Make meals that feature greens, such as spinach, kale, and cabbage, for their pain-soothing properties.
- Vitamin C. Add color to your diet with juicy oranges, sweet red peppers and tomatoes, and other C-rich foods to halt cartilage loss (and resulting pain) that comes with arthritis.
Avoid foods high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as corn oil, which may trigger painful inflammation. Also swap refined grains for whole grains. Early research suggests refined grains have an inflammatory effect, whereas high-fiber whole grains may help reduce inflammation
But most importantly, be mindful about what you are putting in your mouth and remember you are what you eat
Tip #3: Stretch your body
Please stretch and move your body because the cold weather will make you stiff and achy – check our blog for some stretches to do everyday. Also, if possible get a massage when needed and let warm water be your friend! A warm bath in epsom salt can soothe achy joints and muscles.