Working Out In Winter: Preventing Pain & Protecting Your Joints
Working out when it’s cold is hard! Not only is it trickier to get up in the morning, or motivate yourself to move after work (no-one wants to run in the dark!) - the cold finds a way to get right into your bones, doesn’t it?
As the mercury drops, our awareness of aches and pains arise. Did you know that cold weather actually increases our perception of joint pain due to decreased atmospheric pressure and dryer air? So, if you were wondering why that run was particularly difficult on your knees, hips, and ankles this morning, you probably weren’t wrong!
Joint pain can be really uncomfortable and can put a further dent in our exercise routine. When exercise comes with numerous benefits promoted in both our physical body as well as our mental state, prevention of pain is key during the winter months.
You’re in the right place with Organica, as we want to support you on the great lifestyle choices that benefit you and your wellbeing. We are dedicated to using natural, high-quality ingredients to support your journey to being the best version of you.
So how do you prevent yourself from injury and pain when exercising in the cold? Here’s our definitive five-step guide on protecting your joints, all season long.
Conscious & Careful Exercise
Frequent exercise is essential if you want to keep your joints supple and free from pain this winter. Try some low impact and low resistant workouts to help minimize excess strain on your joints. Think yoga, pilates, swimming, and cycling. Exercising directly on concrete can increase the risk of slipping too, so try to work out indoors where the temperature is regulated and the surroundings are safer.
Around two and a half hours of moderate activity a week is a good goal to aim for, but always make sure you warm-up and down with suitable, soothing stretches. A nice, warm bath post work out is also a great way of alleviating any aching body parts after an activity session, and not to mention relaxing for the mind too!
Treat Your Feet
What you choose to wear on your feet is imperative at this time of year - whilst exercising, but also day to day. As well as icy conditions increasing the risk of injury, your training shoes can help prevent a lot of excess impact on your body as your feet meet the floor. Flat, well-gripped rubber-soled, supportive footwear is the way forward to help minimize pain.
It’s also party season, which for many means high heels! We totally understand the attraction of a sparkly pair of festive heels, but if joint pain is a concern try opting for a just-as-pretty flat pair. Heels come with their own risks - there’s more chance of having a fall which can be very painful, but heels also put stress on the legs and pelvis and may up the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Our advice? Shop around, and think outside the stiletto when it comes to your dancing shoes!
Keeping your core body temperature warm is crucial. When you’re feeling the chill, your muscles tense up and stiffen which makes your body more prone to injury and aches. So don those thermals, get snug as a bug, and invest in a great hat, gloves and scarf set - these items will also protect you from skin irritation and damage too!
Get Supple With Supplements
Your stock of supplements can help keep your joints lithe and can help prevent damage to the cartilage. Glucosamine (an amino acid which comes from fungi or crustacean shell) has been shown to ease joint stiffness and pain, and Gopo which is extracted from specially cultivated rose hips has been proven to reduce joint fatigue. Gopo is also high in Vitamin C, which is excellent for keeping colds and flu away too - bonus!
Increasing your intake of Omega 3 can be beneficial for joint health too. As well as its endless list of positive impacts on your body, Omega 3 fatty acids (which can also be obtained from eating fish), helps reduce joint inflammation. Omega 3 also contains Vitamin D3, which contributes to your general bone health. Fish oil capsules are popular and easy to get hold of, so stock up!
If you’re already struggling with joint aches and pains, why not try our 100% organic Castor Oil. The most effective way to relieve joint pain! Ricinoleic acid, which is the main fatty acid in castor oil, has been proven to reduce pain and swelling and has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Applying the oil directly to the area in need, it penetrates deep into the skin and targets pain points reducing inflammation and relieving pain in hours. It also improves blood circulation which is great for muscle reparation post-workout! Our Castor Oil is certified vegan and free from paragons and sulfates too.
Relieve Pain Naturally
Here at Organica, we believe in natural solutions. Heat can be a wonderful reliever from aches, and help you avoid using over the counter medication when it comes to pain. Warm compresses and heat pads, when used safely, can be brilliant in addition to a relaxing hot bath or shower.
Massage is also excellent. Spend some time with the foam roller, or treat yourself to a professional deep tissue massage which will help loosen stiff muscles, release off tension and of course, help any busy mind relax too.
Exercise is a great way of promoting your mental wellbeing as well as your body’s, so it’s important to develop and maintain a routine of exercise and make it a staple part of your life. Balancing this with a healthy diet can do wonders for joint health too. The more weight we carry, the more stress we apply to our joints so keeping our body in a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range between 18-25, can be a great way of preventing injury and protecting our joints.
If you’re still experiencing pain in your joints after stretching and warming up/down it might be necessary to check in with your doctor. Pain is our body’s warning sign, so listen to it if joint pain and stiffness are affecting you consistently throughout the year - not just when the temperature drops.
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