December 27, 2011
Ease Winter Joint Pain
Ease Winter Arthritis Pain. The bite in the air, bare trees and gray skies signal winter has arrived, but don’t let the cold weather put a freeze on exercising! In fact, studies have shown that physical activity in the winter can actually reduce arthritis pain while enhancing other health benefits.
Walking during the winter can have surprising health benefits, especially for those that suffer from arthritis.
- Keeping Bones Strong – Unlike the summer months, people are more likely to lounge around and hibernate during the winter and, as a result, get less sunlight and exercise. Even though the sun isn’t as prevalent and bright, walking outside in the winter still supplies your body with sufficient vitamin D, a supplement that is important for keeping bones strong. Vitamin D also known as the “sunshine vitamin” helps the body absorb bone-strengthening calcium properly and not being outside during the winter slows production and decreases the body’s store of vitamin D.
- A happier you - Being active and walking outdoors can increase your mood and reduce pain associated with arthritis. During the upcoming winter months substitute spending time with your friends around the fireplace and instead take a walk around the block. “A University of Washington in Seattle study of 112 women aged 19 to 78 shows that women who took a brisk, outdoor walk for 20 minutes daily had better mood, higher self-esteem and an improved sense of well-being at the end of the eight-week study.” Winter walking has positive effects on your body and mood. Even if you walk your dog a little longer a day or walk to the mail box instead of drive, get out there in the winter weather and enjoy!
- Natural motivation – Winter walkers are more likely to finish an exercise routine simply because they have more of a desire to return home or to the car. On a treadmill however, you can stop as soon as boredom strikes.
- The worse the weather, the more calories you burn – Walking in the winter versus the summer does not cause you to expend more energy than its counterpart. But, walking in the snow does (much like walking in sand) because it is harder to move and you have to lift your legs more. During these winter months if you are looking to lose a few pounds or decrease joint pain, enjoy the snow (but buddle up first)!
These simple tips can help ease arthritis pain during the colder months of winter. If your symptoms persist, it is highly recommended to follow up with your physician. If you need a doctor, let us help you find one.