As winter draws in we all tend to sit warm by the fire or huddle around the radiator. The nights grow shorter and the days colder and wetter. It is a survival instinct to use less energy in the winter but in years past we still moved whilst conserving energy; not so much anymore.
In the winter as a general rule people will exercise less and usually just hunker down, I am going to advise you to be smart about this year’s hibernation. As we move less our muscles become less conditioned but more crucially your joints will become less mobile, the ligaments become less elastic and the tendons shorter. This process is not painful, and does not happen overnight so most don’t give it a second thought, you will lose only a few percent of function every week, it is only a small amount but over a few months it does add up.
After the first warmer weekend of spring most manual therapy clinics; chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists will often have a surge of patients. Why is this? Well we tend to dive back into our outdoor activities after the winter without a second thought to the loss of conditioning and so the phones light up; I am going to encourage you not to be one of these spring casualties.
The answer is simple; movement. There are many different, smart ways to keep moving in these colder, shorter days. The perfect solution is to diligently walk every day at least 30 minutes but if it is blowing a gale, let’s be realistic, what can we do inside? Pilates, yoga, simple stretching or body weight exercises are all fantastic, all can be done indoors and as long as you are careful you can start with just the aid of a DVD, a book or the web.
Chiropractic is a sure fire way to get moving. Chiropractic encourages joint movement, increases proprioception (muscle coordination) and facilitates your nervous system to react better to whatever stresses life throws at it. If you are unable to get regular exercise during these cold months or even if you can it is well worth a check up with your chiropractor. Think of your Chiropractic check up as a MOT and servicing for the winter, and it will hopefully mean you will be moving better and feeling great come the spring.
Yours in health,
The Team at Plymouth Chiropractic Clinic.
Article by Tom Swingewood, Doctor of Chiropractic.