Physical therapy is important year round, but some people may find additional benefits by pursuing a PT or exercise routine more regularly during the cold winter months. The winter season brings some unique challenges for our bodies here in Minnesota, and physical therapy can help us meet these demands and become a more physically fit version of ourselves. In today’s blog, we explain how you may benefit from working with a physical therapist during the cold winter months.
Physical Therapy in Winter
While the winter season can be wonderful and allow us to pursue some fun seasonal activities in Minnesota, it also tends to be the season that is hardest on our bodies. Here’s a look at some of the challenges presented by the cold winter months, and why connecting with a physical therapist may be in your best interest.
- We’re Less Active – As the temperatures drop and the daylight hours become scarce, we tend to be less active. Our bodies crave activity, and this decreased movement can lead to muscle atrophy, stiffness and general soreness. Staying active during the winter is oftentimes a little harder to do, but it will be worth it. You can ensure you stay active by regularly following through with a PT routine.
- Weight Gain – Due to the fact that it’s easier to be less active in the winter months, and because of the holidays and the foods that are often present at these events, it can also be easier to gain weight during the holidays. The more you weigh, the more stress your joints will have to bear, and that can speed up natural degeneration. You can work with a physical therapist to develop an activity schedule or to make some dietary adjustments to keep your waistline in check this winter.
- Joint Stiffness – The areas that help lubricate our joints don’t function as optimally in cold weather, which is why you may feel more joint pain during the winter months. Again, connecting with a physical therapist can help put your joint health at the forefront at a time when many people are experiencing an uptick in joint discomfort.
- Winter Sports – Winter activities are a great way to stay in shape and get regular exercise, but since these activities tend to be seasonal in nature, you may need some help preparing your body for the sport, safely increasing your intensity or overcoming aches and injuries associated with the activity. A physical therapist can help on all of these fronts.
- Snow Problems – Fresh snow can make for a beautiful picture in Minnesota, but it can also cause problems for your health. Snow and ice can lead to fall injuries, so balance and coordination exercises overseen by a PT can help keep you up right. We can also help develop your arms, legs and core if you will be shoveling snow or working to remove it from sidewalks and driveways this winter.
- Posture Improvements – Finally, a physical therapist can help to improve your posture so that you’re not putting extra pressure on your spine this winter. Having ideal posture is important all year round, but if you’ll be working from home more in the winter or doing a lot of traveling in cars or airplanes this holiday season, you’ll want to make sure you have a healthy seated posture. Your PT can help improve your posture and show you how to make self-corrections if you find yourself ever shifting out of a healthy alignment.
So if you want to head into spring with a healthy body, consider connecting with a physical therapist this winter. To connect with a PT in the greater Minneapolis area, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.
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