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Embrace the Chill: Why Winter Shouldn't Stop You from Moving

June 18, 20243 min read

If you're anything like me, getting motivated to move during the winter months can feel like a Herculean task. The days are shorter, the weather's colder, and cozy blankets and an afternoon on the couch seems far more appealing than lacing up your sneakers.

As a physiotherapist these past few weeks I have seen firsthand how this sedentary winter lifestyle can take a toll on our bodies, leading to all sorts of aches and pains.

When was the last time you stretched those legs with a brisk walk or jog outside? If it's been a while, you're not alone. Many of my patients often blame the winter blues for their lack of activity, but here's the truth: our bodies need movement year-round, especially when it's tempting to hibernate indoors.

The Winter Slump: A Pain in the Neck (and Back)

During these colder months, I've seen a spike in patients complaining of stiff necks and achy backs. Why? It often boils down to one thing: prolonged sitting. Whether it's at work, binge-watching our favourite show (how great has Bridgerton been?!), or scrolling through endless feeds, our bodies are designed to move—not stay glued to a chair for hours on end.

Sitting too much can wreak havoc on our posture and joint mobility. Our muscles tighten up, our spine stiffens, and before we know it, we're wincing with every twist or turn. But fear not! There's a simple antidote to this winter-induced stiffness: movement!

The Power of Movement: It's Science!

"Motion is Lotion"

Let's talk evidence. Study after study has shown that regular exercise isn't just good for maintaining a healthy weight and warding off chronic diseases —it's crucial for joint health and overall well-being. When we move, our joints are lubricated, our muscles stay flexible, and our circulation improves. This means less stiffness, less pain, and more freedom to enjoy life, no matter the season.

Embracing Winter Fitness: Yes, You Can!

Now, I'm not suggesting you brave a blizzard for a marathon (unless that's your thing!), but even a short walk (15-20 minutes) around your neighborhood done regularly can work wonders. Bundle up, grab a friend or furry companion for company, and explore the winter wonderland outside your door.

Tips for Winter Warriors:

  1. Start Small, Go Slow: Begin with activities you enjoy and build up from there. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a winter fitness routine.

  1. Layer Up: Dress warmly in breathable layers to stay comfortable during outdoor workouts. You'll be surprised at how quickly you warm up once you get moving.

  2. Indoor Alternatives: If the cold really isn't your thing, consider indoor activities like a Vital Core exercise class such as Clinical Rehab (Pilates) or Strength and Conditioning (gym).

  3. Stay Consistent: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Break it down into manageable chunks and schedule it into your week like any other important appointment.

Your Body Will Thank You

As a physiotherapist, I can't stress enough how important it is to keep our bodies moving, especially when the mercury drops. So, let's flip the script on winter fitness. Instead of seeing it as a season of excuses, let's embrace it as an opportunity to strengthen our bodies, clear our minds, and maybe even discover new favourite winter activities.

Remember, every step counts, whether it's a walk up to see the Waterfalls at Morialta or a gentle stretch in your living room. Your joints, your muscles, and your overall health will thank you for it.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's lace up those shoes, step outside, and show winter who's boss. If you need some help moving more this winter, talk to us!

Exercise therapyPhysiotherapyNeck painBack painphysio exercise
blog author image

Rebecca Sabine

Physio Beck is the Director of Vital Core Physiotherapy and Pelvic Health who have been serving the Adelaide community wth high quality care since 2003. She is a titled Womens Health Physiotherapist as well as Recreational Sports Physiotherapist currently completing a Masters Degree at LaTrobe University in Melbourne.

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