Preventing Cold Weather Injuries
Tips for Fall and Winter Orthopedic Care
With the cooler weather settling in, it is even more important to lean into healthy habits to ensure you support your bone health.
Don’t stay still
As the days get shorter and cooler, outdoor activities become less frequent. It is important to keep moving. Cuddling up under a blanket on the couch can become an unhealthy habit. Be sure to keep up your daily activities. If you don’t want to take part in outdoor exercise, walk on a treadmill or ride a bike. Even indoor chores can be sufficient to keep you moving. Daily activities are good for your joints but also help you fight off winter weight gain.
Be mindful of what you eat
It is so easy to gain weight in the winter. In addition to the lack of outdoor activities, many people turn to comfort foods and sweets. Comfort foods in the winter are often high in calories. If you are craving one of these rich meals, be sure to balance it with healthy options throughout the day. The holidays are associated with sweet treats: pies, candies, cookies, cakes, and more. Make an effort to limit the sweets in your home so that you aren’t tempted. When you do opt for a dessert, make every effort to have a single small portion. Sugar can easily become an addiction so be mindful of how often you are eating sweets to avoid this.
Do you notice your joints aching in the cold weather? This is due to changes in the barometric pressure which causes our bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments to expand. All of this expansion makes your joints tighter where they cannot move as freely which means tightness and sometimes pain. If you are noticing this, wear proper clothing on cold days. Hands and feet are especially prone to this discomfort. Be sure to wear good socks and gloves. If you get into a cold car in the morning, driving gloves come in handy.
With the days being dryer, you may need to drink more water in the winter. Drinking water is important for multiple body functions. You are more likely to be able to maintain your weight when you drink enough water. Water also carries calcium to your bones which makes them stronger. Don’t wait to feel thirsty as that is the first sign of dehydration but rather keep water by your side throughout the day so that you can drink frequently.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
Studies have shown that long-term alcohol consumption can lead to decreased bone density. It can also increase your chances of osteoporosis. Alcohol can be especially tempting in the winter as it has a warming effect on your body which can feel good on a cold day, but it is in your body’s best interest to not make a habit of drinking alcohol.
If you are suffering from bone pain, Healthstar Physicians orthopedic team can put together a customized treatment plan to help you regain your quality of life. Please reach out to set up an appointment. The team provides top quality medical care and accepts most forms of insurance.