How to beat winter stiffness  - Legacy Physical Therapy
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How to beat winter stiffness 


If you’re like me when the weather turns colder, it’s not uncommon to want to hole up inside, park yourself on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket, and binge Netflix. However the common complaint we hear from many patients during the winter months is that they start to feel stiffer and have more difficulty moving around.

With aging, it is normal for the joints and muscles to feel stiffer and it actually can be more exaggerated in the winter when it’s cold out, luckily there are several things you can do to negate stiffness.

  1. Drink more water – when it’s cold outside, people tend to drink less water, since the muscles are made of 70% water, they need a good amount of fluid in the body so the muscles don’t get dehydrated and stiff. The key is to drink fluid throughout the day, so start by drinking a glass of water and keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.
  2. Move Frequently throughout the day – our bodies were designed to change positions often throughout the day. If you tend to forget, set an alarm on your phone or watch to remind you to get up and move around. Positions to switch between can include, sitting, standing or laying down and even kneeling. Frequent movement, keeps the blood pumping and lubricates the joint to prevent stiffness.
  3. Walk for 10 minutes – just 10 minutes of walking can warm up the muscles, calm the mind and loosen up the joints. Include this walk into your lunch time or split it up between morning and evening times. You don’t have to walk outside if its too cold, just walk around your house, or go up & down the stairs.
  4. Morning Stretches – If you wake up feeling stiff in the morning, before you even get out of bed, try some stretches. An easy one you can do is, laying down on your back, pull your knees up to your chest and rock back and forth, side to side.
  5. Decrease your stress level – Oftentimes, when people get stressed, they hold all that tension in the muscles, particularly the shoulders and neck. Try to incorporate simple things like taking 10 deep breaths a couple of times a day or meditating for 5 minutes using an app like the “calm” app.
  6. Take a warm bath – If you have the option of getting into a nice warm bath, add some epsom salts. Baths can help de-stress the mind, relax the muscles and warm your body up to prevent stiffness.
If you have any questions about this or would like to talk to one of our pelvic floor physical therapists, give us a call: