Teeth-chattering temperatures or icy, cold winds signal the onset of stiff muscles and joints, body ache and soreness, and sometimes a painful pins-and-needles sensation through your skin. These winter woes can be treated with some simple exercises—but first let’s find out if the root cause of your problem runs deeper than just dry, cold air.
You may notice that your water intake reduces considerably during the winter months. Spending most of your time indoors coupled with bare minimum perspiration doesn’t exactly have you reaching for some H2O, does it? Unfortunately, lack of water means that your body is unable to process waste, which may be the reason for your muscle pain.
Tip: Keep a bottle of lukewarm water handy through the day as a reminder. Make sure to drink some every half hour and finish three liters in a day.
Walking On Ice?
Maintaining balance as you tread on ice is definitely not easy; in fact, you unconsciously tighten your muscles to keep a strong footing. Over a period of time, this self-induced muscle tension leads to joint pain.
Tip: What you could do, besides wearing shoes with enough traction, is to move your feet without lifting; drag them if need be.
Clearing up the driveway may be the reason for your neck and back pain. Lifting weight while being hunched over for long periods of time is strenuous for the muscles.
Tip: The trick is in the posture and technique—use your legs to lift and bear the weight, don’t put your back in to it. Also, stand up straight and do a full-body stretch every now and then.
Exercises To Relieve That Muscle Pain
Warm up: Stretching prepares the body to take on a physical activity, thereby preventing muscle strain. You can try lunges or jumping jacks to loosen up before you take something on.
Swimming: It might sound insane to take a plunge in the winter, but if you have access to a temperature-controlled pool, by all means go ahead. This little exercise will improve blood circulation, clear your respiratory system and ease the muscle pain in your joints, while also doubling as a mini-workout.
Dancing: Ballet and ballroom dancing are perfect for flexing your muscles and relieving joint pain. But, really any form of dancing is a good way to keep warm and workout at the same time. Throw on some tunes on the iPod and dish out those moves for 30 minutes a day.
Pilates: A celebrity favorite—think Cameron Diaz, Megan Fox, Reese Witherspoon—Pilates is ideal for the colder months. This indoor workout is perfect for the weather as it absorbs muscle tension and strengthens the core and back muscles.
If we haven’t got you excited about working out yet, maybe when the winter sores come knocking, you’ll change your mind. Until then, good tidings and happy holidays.