I suspect we’re all a bit stuck in a state of inertia these days. With the holidays (and holiday meals), the blizzard, and the ensuing snow cleanup, it’s easy to see why we’ve all slumped a little lately.
I was recently driving through Tinton Falls, a large town with a long and interesting history. What’s always attracted me most, however (as an athlete and as a healthcare practitioner) is the abundance of trails and parks available to the public. This is a town that fairly hums with family and sports activities—but where is that activity now, with slushy roads and little willpower to move?
I think it’s a universal cold-weather problem: many of us simply don’t get enough exercise in the winter. I don’t know many people who would prefer the treadmill to an outdoor run. Maybe sometimes it just seems easier to wait for spring and hope for the best.
In many cases, the result of this type of attitude is an increased risk of sports injuries when returning to physical activity. With the body unprepared for exercise, any number of problems can arise. It’s important to keep the body active continuously in order to avoid the tendonitis, disc injuries, ankle sprains, and neck injuries associated with athletic activity.
Other issues associated with wintertime inactivity include weakened immune systems and, consequently, worsened allergies. Being cooped up indoors means that many more people are at an increased risk of catching and spreading respiratory illnesses during the winter months. Doesn’t it make sense to keep your body in the best shape possible to avoid getting sick?
Trust me, I know how hard it can be to stay active. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to keep your body healthy when the weather is lousy.
• Move! Whether you are at work, at home, or out running errands, make the most of your time. Why not get up, walk over, and speak to your co-worker, face-to-face, rather than sending an e-mail? You can also choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator, or to walk to a restroom that is further away than you would use normally. Whenever possible (and when safety permits), park your car as far away as possible from your destination and walk.
• Indoor Sports I have a good friend who spends every Sunday night at an indoor arena playing soccer. For a few hours, he gets to pretend that the cold world outside doesn’t exist and he gets a great workout. Other indoor sports leagues offer baseball and softball, basketball, field hockey, etc.
• Go Outside If you are in good health, take advantage of the cold winter months and go skiing or snowboarding. Or, if you are stuck in the house after a bad snowstorm, why not put on your warmest clothes and go for a walk outside or build a snowman with your kids? (Click here to learn more about safety issues regarding exertion in the cold.)
The important lesson to take away from this blog is that keeping your body healthy all year round means fewer injuries and better overall health. When sports injuries or other issues do arise, our office is prepared to help with rehabilitation and pain management for Tinton Falls patients. With an integrated office that includes traditional options (such a non-surgical medical care and an extensive and cutting-edge physical therapy program) with more holistic practices (acupuncture and chiropractic), we are able to provide conservative and effective treatment.