Winterize your body

Posted 9 years ago on

Winterize Your Body – 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 stems from a series of joint aches and pains, muscle stiffness and arthritic like symptoms.  Just like our automobiles, we can weather proof and winterize our bodies as well, helping them adjust and cope with the extreme or subtle climate change, flu/cold season, and altered moods.

The following is a list of things we can do to protect our bodies from the effects of the winter months.  They may be simple but they really do impact how we can feel at the end of a winter’s day!

–         Water – Lots of water intake (throw some lemon in it for flavor and toxin release).

–         Stretch – Always make sure your muscles and body are warmed up first, then stretch the major muscle groups that are being overused on a daily basis.  Hold the stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds per muscle.   Always go within your threshold; over time you will notice how flexible you body really is.  Check out different yoga classes; love the benefits of increased flexibility, circulation, relaxation and injury prevention.

–         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 min walk outside lowers feelings of depression and can reduce the onset of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  Or….how about cranking some tunes and dancing like no one’s watching?

–         Laugh – Entertain or be entertained with friends and loved ones.   Put yourself out there and make new friends.  Check out local comedy shows or board games.  They truly say that laughter is the best medicine.

–         Meditate – Even if it’s just 5-10 mins/day.  Let your thoughts and body be still, challenge yourself.  Pick up an audio CD on meditation from the library.  Find a quiet place!

–         Immune Boost – Get your daily intake of necessary vitamins to suit your needs.  Some to consider: Vitamins A & D, probiotics and oil of oregano.  Consult your chiropractor or massage therapist for current evidence based insight.

–         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 Brushings – Before your shower or bath in the morning, just 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.  Best results occur a few seconds 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 favorite cup of tea:  Echinacea (good for colds), Green Tea, Chamomile, Rooibos, Yerba mate, all with immune boosting qualities.

–         Salt Soak – End your day by soaking your worries and aches away with an Epsom, or even better, Himalayan Salt Soak in the tub.  Add a few drops of an essential oil such Lavender for enhanced relaxation.

–         Layer up – Invest a little in more functional, warm, waterproof clothing including footwear.  Find a favorite scarf/toque that you won’t leave home without.  Wigwam socks from MEC are wonderful!

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!