Blog Written by Vybe.
Muscle pain due to cold weather is a common complaint. Muscle soreness and dysfunction can have a significant impact on your everyday activity, whether you are a sports person, focusing on general fitness, or just doing a little workout. During the colder months of autumn and winter, weather changes can provoke or worsen your preexisting muscle pain.
Research undertaken throughout the years has focused on a range of elements that may influence the intensity of the muscle pain. Temperatures, humidity, air pressure, and sunlight exposure are all factors to consider. While things like activity, massage, and heat therapy can decrease muscle pain.
How can you prevent cold-related muscle pains?
Below are six things you should consider.
1. Staying Active
While it is freezing outdoors, and you would rather keep warm in your home, you should not allow the cold to impede your drive! Staying active is crucial to avoiding the chilly weather wreaking havoc on your already aching muscles.
Your muscles' functionality and flexibility will improve significantly when you are active, especially since it leads to increased muscle mass. It also lessens the stress your body exerts upon your muscles. Lower mobility and activity levels are common throughout the cold season, but they can exacerbate existing pain and stress.
Sit-ups, squatting, and push-ups, for example, are simple exercises you should try. They involve the use of core arms, legs, and torso muscles, and you can do them in a compact space. As a result, you don't have to go outside during the cold season. These workouts are beneficial to bone and muscle endurance.
Muscles, like joints, respond to the stimulation of flexural lifting, becoming more powerful and less susceptible to damage. Regular activities and indoor exercises can provide an adequate stimulus for muscular and skeletal health preservation. Check out our blog for more content about workouts you can do during the winter.
2. Warming Up for Longer Periods of Time
Staying warm can help avoid muscle pain due to cold weather, according to specialists. Muscles lose heat and constrict more during the cold season, creating stiffness across the body. Joints become stiffer, muscles lose their strength and flexibility, and nerves become more vulnerable to pinching.
This compels muscles to work quite harder to complete the same tasks that are executed effortlessly in warmer conditions, considering the impact of cold weather. This produces additional muscular tissue injury and might lead to higher discomfort. You can warm for a few minutes longer than normal to minimize any potential injury.
Consider following your warm-up with a cool-down that lasts more or less the same duration. Warming up properly might help you avoid muscular discomfort and improve your physical activity when the weather is cold.
3. Applying Heat and Heat Therapy
Directly applying a heating pad or cloth may ease painful and tight muscles by dilating your blood circulatory system and thus improving blood circulation. Scorching hot showers and hot water bottles are two other ways to administer heat. Each one is effective in lowering pain and is really easy to execute.
This approach is primarily advisable if you already have muscle soreness that worsens in the cold weather. If you are in pain, heat therapy is beneficial. Hot showers or baths, especially first thing in the morning, can significantly reduce your muscle pain and stiffness. It increases muscle flexibility and blood circulation, rendering mobility smoother, besides stimulating neural connections that lower pain perception. You can learn more about heat therapy here.
4. Wearing Several Layers of Clothes
This is essential to keep your muscles warm. You are less harmed by the cooler temperatures if you wear multiple garments or winter clothing. These layers preserve your muscle warmth and insulate you from cold muscle aches. It is a useful tactic to make your life easier and less painful.
You can just shed a layer when you get too warm, so aim to overdress instead of under-dressing. Adhere to permeable fabric for your first layer, followed by lighter clothes or wool. Ensure your clothing is appropriate for the conditions and does not permit moisture to enter.
One of the most crucial areas to cover is your core, which runs from your pelvis to your neck. Doing so encourages healthier blood circulation, keeping your overall body warmer.
Blood flow sometimes gets lower for your extremities, particularly among females. In this case, consider wearing smart wool gloves and socks which can improve your blood circulation while also keeping heat, thus an excellent investment.
5. Proper Hydration
Among other major components, the heart and brain have a water content of roughly 73 percent, so when dehydrated they suffer severely. Dehydration does not solely affect these organs but also your skin, kidney and muscles, and bones, which have 64, 79, and 31 percent water content, respectively.
Therefore, maintaining proper hydration is critical for your body to perform optimally.
When the temperature gets colder, you often drink less water, which can make you prone to achy muscles. Ensure you stay hydrated to keep your body functional, since it may swiftly shutter when dehydrated, which makes it harder to perform critical biological activities like respiration and digestion.
Water aids in balancing your system, lubricating your joints, and maintaining your system's flow. It also aids in the disposal of impurities, ensuring that your metabolism goes smoothly. By ensuring supple tissues, proper hydration can help lessen muscle pain, besides protecting them.
Increasing your daily consumption of fresh water is therefore among the simplest strategies to ease muscle pain during the cold season. Learn more about how much water you should be drinking while working out.
6. Percussion Therapy
A percussion massage gun, which can target the exact body part when necessary, can act as part of anti-cold therapy. It improves blood circulation to the said region, promoting healing and relieving tense muscles.
It pushes extrinsic fluids, including lymph fluid and vascular blood, out of muscles and through the systemic circulation, much like conventional therapy. This may relieve muscle tension and stiffness by relaxing tight muscles, breaking up contractures, and reducing muscle pain.
Pain Psychology and the Effects of Colder Weather
- As the temperature decreases outdoors, the barometric pressure decreases, causing your muscle tissues to stretch, thus inflicting pain.
- During the cold season, having chronic diseases or anxiety makes you more prone to severe pain.
- Elevated psychological distress is normal during the winter, and you may pass this stress into your muscles, making you experience greater pain.
Contributing Writer: Shaina Summerville