The cold winter weather can make our joints lock up, which leads to aches, pains, and stiffness. We also have a tendency to move less and sit more during the winter, and this inactivity can cause a deterioration of our joints and bones.
So don’t let yourself fall into the winter weather bone blues. With a few simple, daily stretches you can improve your joint health, prevent stiffness, stay active, and feel stronger than you have in years.
Here are the 8 best stretches to promote joint health this winter.
Before you even get up in the morning, you can do the trunk rotation right in your bed. This will loosen tension in your lower back and hips, and it will help rejuvenate your blood flow to boost your energy throughout the day.
Here’s another stretch you can do before you get out of bed. We love this one because it elongates your lower back, hamstrings, knees, and hips. It gets the blood circulating as well, so you’ll be ready to take on the day ahead of you.
Most Americans hold their stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. This can cause you to raise and tighten your shoulders, which leads to bad posture. Bad posture puts strain on the rest of your bone structure, so you’ll end up having pain everywhere—just from the strain in your shoulders!
So start every morning with a few shoulder rolls.
Feeling stiff at your desk? Take a second to stand up and bend sideways. When you’re sitting in the office, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your core and lower back. Side bends invert your upright posture, which can help change the way you’re body sits at rest. After a few side bends, you’ll feel more limber and relaxed when you sit back down at your computer.
Did you know that most joint pain actually originates from a problem in the hips? The hips are the trunk of your body, and they help keep your other bones and joints aligned. If your hips are weak or out of alignment, the rest of your body will be “off” as well. Hip swings help strengthen the hip joints and regain balance to the pelvic region.
While you have the chair on hand, stretch out your hamstrings. Tight hamstrings can actually cause knee and lower back pain. Loosening the back of your legs will help you walk better and straighter by taking the strain off of your knee and hip joints.
Learn more about the importance of your hamstrings with Yoga Journal.
You may not even notice your elbow until the cold weather comes and stiffens up your joints. Elbow problems become increasingly problematic for those who play sports (specifically contact sports and tennis) and those who work at desks that aren’t ergonomically sound.
With this stretch, you stretch your wrist flexor, which helps loosen the muscles along your forearm and elbow. This gets rid of “tennis elbow” and joint arthritis in your arm.
The Serratus punch works your shoulder joints. You’ll especially love this exercise if you tend to get knots around your shoulder blades, because this helps to open and release tension in your upper back.
You can use light dumbbells in each hand to make it more challenging, but we recommend starting the lifts without weights. You can even use water bottles to add resistance without risking injury.
Take care of your joints this winter, and they’ll take care of you!
At MedZone, it’s our job to make everybody feel better. That starts with injury prevention and joint care.
If you’re feeling pain, try out our PainZone formula. This topical analgesic relieves tired muscles and joint aches, so you can get back in the game fast. You’ll especially love the roll on formula so you can grab it and go on your way out the door during the winter season!
Check out PainZone to start feeling relief fast.
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