Care for achy joints during winter months with these mobility tips

Start with what you’re eating and how much you’re moving.

Anyone who suffers from achy joints knows that falling temperatures can have a real impact on the frequency and severity of pain.

There’s no official explanation for how the weather affects joints, though an article from University of Chicago Medicine suggested the drop in barometric pressure may cause tendons, muscles and surrounding tissues to expand.

Whatever the cause, as it begins to get colder, people will likely experience more joint pain. For some that can mean mobility issues as well. Luckily, there are ways to help ease achy joints.

Movement is key

“Mobility training is just an important as weight training or cardio,” Jill Charton, mobility trainer and founder of iFour.Life, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It allows your joints to age gracefully, helps with function as we get older and can improve joint related health issues.”

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Charton went on to explain that defining the difference between pain, aches and stiffness is also key to identifying what is going on with your body and how to properly treat it.

“If you have joint stiffness, that would require a different treatment verses pain, aches and/or soreness. A lot of times, people will say they have pain, but really they are sore and tight.”

Livestrong.com offers great examples — with pictures — for mobility movement exercises that can be done at home, including neck circles and wrist rolls.

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Full body movements like cycling, swimming and weight training can also help ease joint pain.

“Keeping your body warm and movement is essential when taking care of your muscles and joints,” said Charton “if you’re experiencing stiffness combat it with simple movements like walking, stretches or even yoga.”

Eating for healthier joints

“Sometimes joint pain and lack of mobility can be helped by what you put in your body,” explained Charton. “Food plays an important part in bodily functions especially when it comes to the joints. For example a great way I treat my joints and body is by taking Omega-3s on days I don’t eat wild caught salmon.”

Here are a few good food options that can help lubricate joints and reduce aching:

  • Fish and fish oils
  • Vitamin K and vitamin C
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Bone broth
  • Fruits
  • Olive oil
  • Dark chocolates