How to Reduce Joint Pain in Fall and Winter
Many people experience increased joint pain as the weather starts to get cooler. Whether it’s the colder temperatures, a change in air pressure, or both, it’s important to know what you can do to reduce joint pain in the months to come, or at least minimize it.
Since cold weather seems to be a primary predictor of joint pain, the first thing you need to do is stay warm. As soon as the weather starts to drop, pull out the pants, the long sleeves, and the layers. If it helps to keep the thermostat in your home turned up and you can afford the slight raise in utility bills, go for it. You also might want to consider an electric blanket or a heating pad you can keep in your bed to help you stay warm all night long.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Inflammation, high blood sugar levels, and poor nutrition can also contribute to joint pain. Healthy fats, such as the ones found in olive oil, avocado oil, and nuts and seeds can help moderate both inflammation and blood sugar, while keeping us full. They can also help our skin from drying out.
Other tips to remember include getting plenty of micronutrients from fruits and veggies and staying away from sugar and trans fats. To be sure you’re doing everything you can to minimize joint pain through diet, you might want to consult a registered dietician.
This tip can be hard to follow since many of our opportunities for exercising outside disappear, especially if the cold weather makes it harder for you to move. If you enjoy outdoor activities in the fall and winter, just be sure to layer up every time you go outside. For many people, keeping up a constant (even low-level) movement is enough to stay warm and keep the pain at bay.
If going outside in the cold is too challenging for you, remember there are plenty of exercises you can do inside and even from the comfort of your own home. Whether it’s strength training (such as pushups and squats), jumping jacks, or yoga. Strength training also has proven benefits to keeping bones and joints strong and yoga has plenty to offer when it comes to, not only increasing flexibility, but lowering inflammation and improving joint pain.
Get a Massage
Not only do they feel wonderful, but in addition to lowering stress and inflammation, massages also improve circulation. If you’ve been having trouble with a particular joint, you might want to ask your massage therapist to focus on that particular area to help increase the blood flow and lower pain in that area.
Finally, it’s important to plan ahead. That can be easier said than done here in the Midwest where the weather can change on a moment’s notice, but try to keep an eye on the weather predictions and check the temperature before you go out so you know when to layer up. Staying one step ahead can be key to avoiding pain.
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