14 Ways To Help Winterize Your Body!
Post by Tammi Wigmore, RMT
As a massage therapist I see first hand the effects of weather and seasonal transitions on the body. The chief complaints at this time of year stem from a series of joint aches & pains, muscle stiffness and arthritic like symptoms. Just like our vehicles we can weather proof and winterize our bodies, helping them adjust and cope with the extreme or subtle climate change, flu/cold season, and altered moods.
The following is a list of 14 things we can do to protect our bodies from the winter months; they really can impact how we feel at the end of a cold winter day.
- Water – Lots of water intake (throw some lemon in for flavour and added vitamin C and immunity boosting).
- Stretch – Always make sure muscles and body are warmed up first. Stretch the major muscle groups that are being overused on a daily basis, hold them for a minimum of 30 seconds per muscle. Always be within your comfort threshold. Over time you will notice how flexible your body really is. Check out different yoga classes and enjoy the benefits of increased flexibility, circulation, relaxation and preventing injury.
- Healthy Food – A balanced diet is so important. Give your body the fuel it needs to run successfully.
- Exercise – Even if it’s only 15-30 mins/day. It is proven that a 15 minute walk outside lowers the feeling of depression and can reduce onset of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- Laugh – Entertain or be entertained with friends, loved ones, and make new friends. Check out local comedy shows or play board games when you want to hibernate indoors.
- Meditate – It doesn’t need to be long. Even 5-10 mins/day can offer many benefits. Let your thoughts and body be still, challenge yourself. Pick up an audio CD in mediation from the library or download a meditation app. Find a quiet place to retreat for a few minutes.
- Immune Boost – Get your daily intake of necessary vitamins to suit your needs. Some to consider: Vitamins A & D, probiotics, and oil of oregano. The Naturopathic Doctor at Ascent also offers an immunity booster shot.
- Comfort Foods – They can be healthy soups, chilies, or stews that you can freeze for convenience. Cook with cayenne pepper, as it helps with circulation during winter.
- Paraffin Wax Treatment – Discover what Paraffin wax treatments can do for arthritis, dry skin, achy muscles and joints (Paraffin is used in hospitals for rehabilitation).
- Skin Brushing – Before your shower or bath in the morning, a quick skin brushing of your body can do wonders for dry skin and encourage better circulation and lymph flow.
- Moisturize – So many people forget or are too rushed to moisturize daily. For best results apply moisturizer right after a shower; this traps in the moisture for a longer period of time. Don’t forget to use SPF lotions or lip balms in the winter months too!
- Tea time – Cozy up with your favourite cup of tea: Echinacea (good for colds), Green Tea, Chamomile, Rooibos, Yerba mate, all possess immune boosting qualities.
- Salt Soak – End your day by soaking your worries and aches away with an Epsom, or even better a Himalayan Salt, soak in the tub. Adding a few drops of an essential oil such Lavender can provide enhanced relaxation.
- Layer up – Invest a little more in functional, warm, waterproof clothing including footwear. Find a favourite scarf/toque that you won’t leave home without.
Be gentle to your body this season. If you have any questions, be sure to bring them up at your next appointment. Cheers to a happy winter!