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Why do our joints act up in the winter? (And what you can do about it!)

Why do our joints act up in the winter? (And what you can do about it!)

Let’s face it, winter is here for a lot of us and temperatures are dropping fast! Did you know that cold weather has a direct impact on our joints? If you did, then you’ve likely experienced this phenomenon. 

Generally, as the weather gets colder, people experience more feelings of depression and less motivation to stay active. It’s natural to want to bundle up in a blanket and turn on the TV when it’s cold and gray outdoors. 

This lack of activity may just be the reason you’re feeling creaky and crampy in your joints and muscles. However, there are also some biological reasons behind how the cold weather affects our joints, too. 

How does the cold weather affect our joints?

If you've noticed stiffer joints in the winter, you're not just imagining it. There is science-backed evidence that explains how and why our joints act up when the weather gets colder. Here are a few:

  • Joint fluid thickens 
  • The shock-absorbing fluid in our joints is usually the consistency of an egg white. When it gets cold outside, this fluid thickens, making it harder for joints to move easily. As a result, you may notice stiffness in the joints.  

  • Air pressure changes 
  • The atmospheric pressure changes with the weather. As the temperature drops, so does the air pressure. This may cause tissues in your joints to expand, which can cause discomfort. 

  • Increased nerve sensitivity
  • If you already experience discomfort in your joints, you may notice an increase in nerve sensitivity as the temperature drops. 

  • Lack of activity 
  • In general, people move less in the colder months. Prolonged periods of inactivity may result in increased discomfort. Reminder: stretch every day!

    If you’re struggling with troublesome joints, especially in the winter, there are a few points of action you can take. The first is, to try to stay mobile as much as you normally would in the warmer months. 

    Obviously, exercise is an important part of staying physically and mentally healthy. It can be hard to push through the discomfort of winter joints, but it is absolutely imperative to try lower-impact movements to keep joints lubricated. Here are some to keep in mind:

    • Floor exercises: These include abdominal curls, crunches, push-ups, plank, or leg lifts. 
    • Upper body exercises: These include repeated lifting of hand weights, plank, or push-ups. 
    • Stretching exercises: These include toe touching, calf raises, Yoga and squatting. 

      These exercises will help build strength in your muscles and tissues that support your joints. Also, consider adding a daily walk to keep your joints from becoming stiff. Walking is a low-impact exercise that most of us take for granted. Bundle up in layers and get outside for 20 minutes. You’ll notice the difference! 

      What can you do to support your joints this winter? 

      Now that we know why our joints may be more uncomfortable in the cold, and how important it is to keep moving through the discomfort, let’s get into some other ways to support your joints this winter. 

    • Avoid weight gain 
    • Most of us gain weight in the winter months - especially around the holidays. However, even small amounts of weight gain may affect your knees and other joints.

    • Soothe winter sadness 
    • Practicing self-care becomes even more important as the weather turns cold and gray. When we are feeling down, we tend to notice our points of discomfort more. 

    • Stay hydrated 
    • Drinking plenty of water is always important for your joint health, but it is especially important to keep hydrated when the weather is cold. 

    • Turn to supplements
    • While eating a well-balanced diet is important to maintain healthy joints, certain holistic supplements can boost your mobility such as turmeric, collagen, and omega-3. 

      The Primal Harvest approach to joint support

      We take joint supplements seriously at Primal Harvest because we know how important it is for your health to stay mobile and active. Also, around 30% of adult Americans struggle with mobility due to problematic joints, so it’s our mission to help as many of you as we can. 

      We have a few products to choose from when it comes to joint support. One of which is our Turmeric Complex. Turmeric is a powerful root packed with antioxidants that has been used for centuries. Here are 3 reasons why turmeric is an excellent supplement for your joint health and more: 

    • Increase inflammatory responses 
    • The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. Curcumin is packed with antioxidants which are essential for healthy inflammatory responses in the body. 

    • Celebrated for centuries 
    • Turmeric has been celebrated for thousands of years by Ayurvedic medicine for its wellness-supporting properties. Only recently has science caught up with this tradition, discovering the many benefits of turmeric for joint health and more. 

    • Supports skin, digestion, and heart health
    • Not only is turmeric a great supplement for joint mobility, but the antioxidant and adaptogenic properties of this ancient root may also support your skin, digestion, and heart. 

      Another product that is helpful when it comes to your joints is our Primal Flex. This formula combines the power of turmeric with hydrolyzed collagen to promote inflammatory response while stimulating collagen production. 

      Collagen is the building block of our skin and connective tissue which support our joints. We lose collagen as we age which is why older people typically experience more problems with mobility. When you combine collagen and turmeric you get the best of both worlds

      Summary

      As the weather gets colder, our joints become less lubricated and may become more problematic. The best thing we can do is to continue to stay active and rely on supplements like turmeric and collagen to help keep our joints from becoming uncomfortable.

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