The winter holidays can be a wonderful time for family and friends to relax and spend time together. For some Athletes, as the cold weather comes upon us, so do the aches and pains.
Though numerous studies have been conducted to identify the link between cold temperatures and muscle/joint pain, scientists are still seeking a definitive answer. The most widely accepted reasoning is that cold temperatures reduce air pressure, which can lead to swelling.
Exercise, hydration, heat, and vibration therapy can all help maintain muscle and joint flexibility, as well as overall mobility in an Athlete’s body.
Daily physical activity, such as a Tone House class, can help decrease stiffness and maintain functional muscle & joint flexibility. For example, think of Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion: “an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion, stays in motion”. This law applies to the human body. You must continue to move!
Hydration is key when assessing the pliability of muscles and joints. Over half of your body mass is composed of water. Athletes generally feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water. To make matters worse, many Athletes claim to not feel as thirsty in the winter months, as they would in the summer. This lack of water intake can hinder how our bodies process toxins, which may cause more soreness and aches. Make sure to keep a water bottle with you at all times to help increase your water intake!
Heat therapy using a heating pad or taking a hot shower can help relax your sore muscles and joints. It’s even better in the morning to help start your day off flexible and relaxed!
Lastly, vibration therapy, such as the Theragun, Hyperice Vyper (vibrating foam roller), and Hyperice Hypersphere (vibrating ball), are all great tools to help soothe sore muscles and joints. They rapidly increase the blood flow to the area and help pump circulation in the body. The more circulation and blood flow you have, the better you can handle the cold weather and maintain your functional gains, on and off the Turf.