Physical inactivity can trigger a host of health issues from heart problems to mental health issues that could deteriorate your health over a period of time. Winter season is the time when people do not feel like getting out of their blankets and mostly stay indoors which can affect various aspects of their well-being. Not staying active or doing exercise can cause muscle wasting and result in chronic pain syndrome. This happens due to inflammation or dysfunctional nerves. To avoid body pain due to sedentary lifestyle in winter, one must walk for at least five minutes every two hours. If your job involves too much sitting, you may walk while attending phone calls or just get a standing desk. One can also perform easy neck, shoulder, side stretches to keep all the important muscles active. (Also read: Sitting for too long? 5 exercises to reverse ill effects of prolonged sitting)
Here are tips to beat body pain in winter by Dr Aniket Mule, consultant internal medicine, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road and Dr Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist and infectious disease specialist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital Chembur, Mumbai.
• Maintain an optimum weight: A lack of physical exercise due to chilly weather can lead to unwanted weight gain. Even the smallest amount of excess weight can put additional pressure on your knees and other joints, aggravating aches and pains. Push yourself to follow a carefully planned weight management regimen to keep any extra kilos at bay and avoid the risk of increased joint pain.
• A hot compress can be helpful: Joint and muscle pain is common during winter. Thus, applying heat (an electric heating pad or a hot water bag) can do the trick. Also, a warm shower or a hot bath can also help in relieving joint aches and relaxing your muscles.
• Drink enough water: Winter is already here. But, a majority of people avoid staying hydrated and drinking enough water during chilly days. After all, one will not want to make those continuous trips to the bathroom when the weather is cold. But, remember that this is a big mistake you are committing. You will be shocked to know that the dry air during winter will lead to dehydration, tiredness, and pain. Thus, it will be essential for you to drink enough water and stay fit. Even sipping warm tea or soup can be helpful for you. But, drinking at least 9-10 glasses of water is essential if you are planning to work out and stay healthy.
• Eat well: Just like in summer, you will have to pay attention to your diet during winter too. Eating a diet loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, and lentils will help you to improve your immunity and keep various allergies, infections, and illnesses at bay. Avoid eating processed, junk, and oily food that can cause inflammation and pain in the body.
• Take supplements only after the advice of a doctor: If there is bone and joint pain then it is better to include calcium and vitamin D supplements only under the supervision of the doctor.