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Lifestyle: keeping on top of winter aches and pains

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Aching or painful joints are one of the main reasons why people pay a visit to our clinic. Although pain can occur anytime throughout the year, it can often feel worse and harder to cope with during the cold and wet winter months. Personal Best clinic director Kristine Hagen, explains.

“A change of season does not cause arthritis pain, but it can make the symptoms more profound. When there is a drop in temperature our body limits how much blood it sends to the extremities, such as hands and feet, in order to supply vital organs, like the heart and lungs. Consequently, the soft tissue around the joints becomes less pliable, meaning joints feel tight, stiff and uncomfortable.” 

Kristine’s tips for dealing with aches and pains during the winter months:

Keeping active is vital as this will help keep your joints mobile and your muscles strong. which can reduce pain and help you stay independent. Pain, although unpleasant, is a protective mechanism to stop you from causing further damage, but pain doesn’t always mean you should crawl under the duvet and quit exercising altogether. We also recommend using topical creams to reduce pain and inflammation such as Fisiocream or Biofreeze.

1. Don’t let cold weather put you off normal physical activities and errands.

Wrap up warm; wear layers in cold weather, so that you can peel them off as you warm up! It is vital that you keep your extremities covered with hat, gloves, and scarf etc.  

2. If you’re new to exercise, don’t overdo it!

Slowly build the amount you do. Ideally, aim for 30 minutes, but if this is difficult, break it up into smaller chunks of time.  Whatever you do, make sure you warm up thoroughly and remember the benefits of moving will help your mental and emotional health just as much as your physical health and wellbeing.

3. Remember good posture throughout the day!

As a general rule, clients tend to focus on their posture as they exercise, but what happens with all the other movements and activities throughout the day? Try and consider placing less strain on joints as you move throughout the day, for example, reaching to lift a heavy object from a high cupboard puts a lot of strain on your shoulder. Using a step or ladder, reduces that strain significantly!

If you have any questions about any of the information or would like to discuss your joint pain issues, please feel free to contact our clinic team, HERE

Prior to establishing the Personal Best, Carl Benton taught Physical Education, coached teams, and ran fitness classes for 10 years in the New Forest. Carl was also a regular contributor to Ultra Fit magazine, writing over 40 articles in collaboration with Pete Cohen.

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