Having a warm cozy blanket and a good book can be great on cold winter days. It’s certainly important to relax and rest! However, your body also craves the balance of exercise even in the winter months.
Indoor exercise is great for days that are really frigid, but consider taking advantage of those days that are chilly, and even sunny!
1. Exercising outdoors allows you to burn more calories. Your body will be working to keep your internal temperatures stable. Your body is actually working harder in cooler temperatures as you begin to sweat and elevate your heart rate.
2. When outdoors, you get a daily dose of Vitamin D which helps with overall immunity and mood. No Vitamin D is found indoors!
3. Your muscles will crave stretching before and after. The colder temperatures can increase stiffness of muscles making stretching feel even better before and after the workout. You will have less soreness and better blood flow after the workout.
We have a few more months of winter! Get out there and exercise! Your body will thank you.
For more information on cold weather wellness, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Allison Hoestermann, PT, DPT
Ever wonder why some people tend to deal with pain better than others? Here are some facts you should know:
1. Pain is a direct signal from the brain. There is a roadmap from the brain to the affected tissue. Additionally, the degree of pain often depends on our perception of the danger of pain. The greater the perceived danger, the greater the signal from the brain to the tissue.
2. The degree of pain isn’t always reflective of the degree of injury. Everyone experiences differences in how their brain processes pain. Some people perceive and process pain with very strong coping mechanisms, and others find even the slightest scrape a potential threat. Helping children early on to cope with their cuts and cruises will help them with more serious injuries later in life.
3. A diagnostic test doesn’t always determine the cause of injury. MRI’s, X Rays, and CT scans are often used as a first line of diagnosis. However, there are times when the results tell us very little about the pain. For example, a study was performed on people 60 years or older with NO symptoms of low back pain. Despite the lack of pain, 36% had a herniated disc, 21% had spinal stenosis and 90% had a bulging disc.
4. “I have a high pain tolerance.” There is no accurate way of knowing whether or not you have a high pain tolerance. Often times, stating that fact is a coping mechanism for handling the perception of pain.
5. Psychological factors such as depression increase pain. A recent study in the Journal of Pain showed that an individual’s depression or anxiety level before total knee replacement had a direct effect on the patient’s long term pain post operatively. The happier a patient is, the greater chances of reduction of pain.