Do you ever notice how when the weather gets colder, you experience more aches and pains and feel like your muscles are stiffer. This may be true for you and even more evident for individuals who work outside in the winter or who have certain ailments.
Individuals with arthritic conditions might find that your symptoms are exacerbated by cold weather. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, may not react well to sudden weather or atmospheric changes which can worsen symptoms.
Even if we are not suffering from any specific conditions, when the weather is cold, we may move slower, and walk around when our muscles are tense and stiff. This can result in soreness that you may not normally experience.
If you are working outside, be aware of your working conditions. Feeling warm and comfortable is important as lifting and overexertion can increase the risk of injury in colder temperatures.
Read below for some tips to help prevent stiffness and muscles injuries during the cold months:
Maintain an active lifestyle-I say this a lot, movement is good for you. Make sure to do some form of physical activity to exercise your muscles and joints. Remember this doesn’t have to be workouts at the gym. There are many things you can do in your daily activities to get movement in!
Dress Warmly-Wear proper clothing to keep your body warm and protected from the cold. Wearing layers is always good to help regulate your temperature allowing you to take off or put on layers as needed.
Wear proper boots and a warm hat-wear boots that are waterproof and have good treads to help prevent falls. Keeping your head warm reduces the amount of body heat that escapes from your head.
Do not stay out in the cold for too long-If you work outside, get out of the cold during your breaks if at all possible.
These tips should help minimize the aches and pains of the season.
Irish Health.com, “Cold and damp Weather,” https://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?con=329#q3
BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, “Workplace Guidelines for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injuries,” https://www2.gov.bc.ca/local/myhr/documents/safety/workplace_guidelines_prevention_msi.pdf
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Cold Stress, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/coldstress/