A cartoon of a reindeer working outWhilst the weather outside hasn’t exactly been frightful in terms of temperature, due to one of the mildest winters on record, you can bet your bottom monopoly dollar that it won’t be far away once the New Year arrives.

During the cold, wet months we’re all more likely to suffer from aches and pains; therefore it’s very important that we take great care of ourselves.

When the miserable weather hits, our bodies start to restrict the amount of blood that’s pumped around. Your hands and feet for example, are major sufferers when this happens! This means we lose heat and our joints receive less blood, which can cause those dreaded aches and pains we’re all very aware of.

Although nobody wants to be in pain, it’s your body’s way of letting your brain know that something is wrong. If you look at it that way, it seems more understandable.

While you may want to hide behind that blanket, it’s important that you stay active. Exercise keeps your joints supple, which can in fact reduce pain. As long as you wrap up and warm up before you exercise, you’re on the right path.

Other tips to help your body through the winter months:-

  • Eat the rainbow: The brighter and more varied the colours of fruit and veg – yellows, greens, purples and reds – the more loaded they are with antioxidants, great for your immune system, skin, eyes and organ function.
  • Foot massage: Rolling your foot across the top of a tennis or golf ball can boost blood circulation and relieve tight or painful muscles in your feet.
  • Keep your friends close: Friends provide emotional support, helping you deal with stress, boosting the body’s production of feel-good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin, which in turn has been found to promote brain growth and combat ageing.
  • Sleep more: Going to bed just one hour earlier can lead to a significant drop in blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Improve your balance: To keep your limbs flexible and strong, try balancing on each foot for as long as possible every morning. This will help to strengthen your leg muscles and improve their ability to sense movement, boosting your stability and reducing your risk of falls as you get older.
  • Reduce inflammation: Inflammation plays a major role in the joint cartilage deterioration that leads to arthritis. Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients can help prevent this. Foods rich in inflammation-fighting free radicals include green tea, berries, fatty fish, extra-virgin olive oil, red grapes and apples, garlic, onions, orange or yellow fruits & vegetables and the spices turmeric and ginger.

That should help to keep you going for a while, so all that’s left to be said is Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year to you!