5 ways to reduce joint pain this winter
If you find that the decrease in temperature goes hand in hand with joint aches and pains, you are not alone. According to research, the cause is actually due to a change in air pressure as the weather gets cooler, writes Justine Switalla.
When it comes to exercise, not only does the winter weather make it more difficult to leave the comfort of a cosy bed, but the increase in aches and pains in your joints leave many people feeling uninspired to keep active.
However, inactivity can exacerbate joint pain and leave you feeling unmotivated and lethargic. We spoke to Ethical Nutrients brand ambassador, Justine Switalla, who is not only a health and fitness expert, but has suffered from joint pain herself.
As we head into the winter months, here are some simple steps to limit and alleviate joint aches and pains:
Consider water aerobics
A great way to exercise if you do have joint pain is in the pool, as the buoyancy of the water allows you to move freely without weight bearing down on your joints. One of the key benefits of water aerobics is that you can easily adjust your in-pool exercise routine to suit specific mobility levels. Heated pools at around 82 to 88 degrees can also help soothe joint pain, and the warm water can be a welcome retreat for the body and soul throughout the cooler months.
The smooth motion of cycling can reduce the strain on joints in comparison to regular jogging. Not only is this exercise a great cardiovascular workout, it also works to strengthen the important muscles that support the knee joints. To avoid the cold weather outside, try cycling on an indoor stationary bike, which is great for beginners. Most stationary bikes also have adjustable resistance levels, which means they can be great for new starters or seasoned professionals.
Take time to stretch
Stretching is very important for your flexibility and mobility. The two best times to stretch are first thing in the morning to wake your body up and following a session at the gym to gently stretch out the joints, reducing the risk of achy joints and muscles.
Diet and nutrition
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important to ensure you’re obtaining all the essential nutrients to support your joints. Protein is an important building block for healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood, and can be found in so many delicious seasonal ingredients. During winter, I try to load up my plate with protein-rich foods such as red meat and leafy greens.
I have had some painful days along my journey to recovery following my foot injury, and have found supplements, along with a balanced diet, to be one of the best ways to maintain healthy joints.
Justine Switalla is the founder of Fit Healthy Mums and is an ambassador for Ethical Nutrients.
“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain