FEELING GREAT: Stay active this winter to help joints and muscles be ‘tip top’

Summer is at a close, we are heading into winter, leaving the warm weather behind and moving into the cold, damp months.

"Seize any and every opportunity you have during winter to get active."
"Seize any and every opportunity you have during winter to get active."

If you’re in your late 50s or 60s, there’s a good chance you’ve already experienced something strange happening to your joints when the temperature begins to drop.

They suddenly get that bit more annoying, nagging and painful on a daily basis. The sensation that knee joints appear to become stiffer, ache more, clunk more and even swell more when the temperature drops is one that many men and women aged 50-plus can relate to.

There are many reasons why your joints appear to be more problematic come wintertime.

Two villains in the story are the low temperature, which naturally restricts your circulation, and the fact that you’re much less likely to be active in winter. Yet keeping joints mobile by being active is the equivalent of spraying WD40 on the stiff and rusty joints of an old bike – it’s essential oil that makes the ride much easier and smoother.

And here’s the thing that many people in their 50s and 60s fail to grasp: the long winter months and a sustained period of inactivity can be the root cause of what I call “all of a sudden” lifelong knee pains.

If your muscles get a long rest in winter, there’s a chance they’ll waste away to the point where they will not be able to support your knees as they once could when you start up again in the spring, when you feel more like being active. And without the support of the muscles, knees are much more likely to end up arthritic.

After a long winter of inactivity and hibernation, the temptation is to exercise again when the good weather and light nights come around.

But your muscles may not be strong enough to suddenly start exercising again safely after so much rest; not if you’ve shut these muscles down for six whole months!

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The harsh reality for many knee pain victims is that most of their problems will be added to by a long winter break from activity.

Seize any and every opportunity you have during winter to get active and keep joints mobile and vital muscles strong.

If you’re lucky, you’ll never get to know what life with dodgy knees might have been like if you hadn’t.