While cold weather is unlikely to be the direct cause of joint discomfort, the drop in pressure that accompanies dipping temperatures may aggravate pre-existing conditions (though it has yet to be proven scientifically). Protect joints from weather-related stiffness by trying out these five helpful tips:
1. Heat things up: Before you get dressed, throw your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes ““ toasty clothes are like a heating pad for your whole body!
2. Take cover: Dress warmly from head to toe ““ be sure to wear a scarf, gloves and extra-thick socks to cover your neck, hands and feet and keep them warm and comfortable, even indoors if necessary.
3. Enjoy a hot beverage: If you must venture outside, warm your body to the core by enjoying a steaming cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
4. Keep moving: Mobility is crucial to prevent stiff joints in any weather. If it’s too cold to exercise outside, consider taking a long stroll through your local mall.
5. Feed your joints: Eat joint-protective foods, such as fish (rich in omega-3s and vitamin D), shellfish (a source of glucosamine) and citrus fruits, which provide vitamin C (crucial for collagen production).