It is not uncommon to feel stiff, sore, and sluggish during the winter. This can discourage healthy movement and exercise and is often one of the contributing factors to winter weight gain. There are some scientific reasons behind why you want to curl up and hibernate, though. Understanding why you are stiff and sore during the winter can help you identify ways to combat it this season. This quick guide will provide you with some information on why you’re stiff and some tips on what stretches help reduce joint pain during winter.
Winter can get us into a terrible cycle of less movement and more stiffness, which encourages less movement, which encourages more stiffness. Often our lack of movement is initially caused by a desire to stay out of the cold and also maybe because of there being less sunlight each day for outdoor activities. Regardless of the initial reason, though, it is crucial to our joints, muscles, and overall health to stay active and keep moving during the winter. If you have been wondering how to prevent stiffness during the winter, step one is to get up and get moving even if you don’t exactly feel like it.
Cold Bones and Joints
You probably remember hearing your grandparents or parents talk about the cold making their bones and joints hurt. There is actually some science behind this old complaint. Cold weather makes the tendons connecting joints to muscles contract. These contractions can make joints feel stiff and painful. The same is true for muscles, especially muscles that may have experienced injuries in the past because scar tissue will also contract in cold weather.
Inappropriate Winter Clothing
When our muscles and joints are cold they contract and this can hurt. If you are not dressed appropriately for outdoor activities, you will immediately notice that your muscles and joints are stiffer and more painful. The easy solution is to always dress warmly by using layers and the appropriate fabrics.
Decreased Vitamin D
With less sunlight available each day, vitamin D levels start to drop in the fall and winter. A drop in vitamin D can cause muscle aches and pains. The solution is to get out in the sunshine as much as possible, even when it is cold. You can also take a vitamin D supplement to help.
It is always better to be proactive and not wait until the pain sets in. If you are wondering, "How do you prevent stiffness during the winter?", you should take steps to stay proactive. Visit a chiropractor, keep on track with an exercise plan, do stretches for joint relief during cold weather, and take a vitamin D supplement.
Categorised in: Health and Wellness Center
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