Have you noticed that you seem to get more injuries in the winter? Let’s discuss why that might be happening…
Winter is here, with all the joys that come with it, including an influx of old injuries playing up (and new ones). Which begs to question… are we more susceptible to injuries in colder weather?
Cold does more than just make you shiver!
When your body is exposed to low temperatures, your muscles and joints become stiffer and less flexible. Reduced flexibility can make performing movements properly a lot harder, leading to an increased possibility of straining, spraining or tearing.
But wait, there’s more!
In cold temperatures, blood flow to our extremities decreases as a natural response to conserve heat and protect our vital organs. This reduced blood flow can affect our reflexes and coordination, making us clumsier than usual. This also affects our grip strength and dexterity, as low temps can numb our hands and feet.
To top it all off, our body’s blood vessels constrict in the cold. It’s a survival mechanism to conserve heat and keep our vital organs warm, but it means less blood flow to our muscles. And less blood means less oxygen and nutrients reaching those muscles, making them more prone to injuries.
So, what can we do to stay safe?
- Layer up and dress for the occasion!
- Keep those extremities warm, like your hands, feet, and head.
- Remember, warm-up exercises aren’t just for gym enthusiasts. They’re for all of us, to keep our muscles flexible and ready for action.
- If you’re feeling your niggles are starting to act up, put some heat on it and call your acupuncturist stat!
If you ever find yourself not knowing if you should apply ice or heat to your injury… click here!
Stay safe, stay warm, and take care out there, folks!