Most people enjoy the chilly winter months, yummy winter food, and the colorful winter fashion! But there are a few people in our families who do not get as excited about winters as we do - these are our elderly parents and grand parents. As people age, the most common ailment they suffer from is Arthritis. It is very rare for an elderly person to not complain of knee pain or joint stiffness. As soon as cold winter months start settling in, the joint stiffness and pain begins to worsen. Low mobility causes poor circulation of blood and this makes matters worse for the elderly. They also experience stiffness in the joints due to lack of exercise and even simple motions of daily life become painful.
So here are a few things you can do if you or a family member suffers from Arthritis.
- Dress warmly. If your body is not warmly dressed, it will try to divert the warmth to your core and this is why your limbs will not get enough supply of blood. It is important to keep yourself - legs, feet, hands and arms covered with warm clothing.
- Avoid unhealthy winter binge. We all love dal ka halwa and gulab jamun, but it is best to eat a healthy and nutritious diet as always. Too much sugar and salt can also cause your joints to stiffen up.
- Supplement your nutrition with Calcium and Vitamin D supplements. You will notice the difference this makes within one week!
- Find new ways to keep yourself active. Many people are unable to step out in the cold, and this affects their health. Look for new ways to stay active indoors. Regular exercise keeps the joints supple and prevents inflammation.
- Get plenty of sun. Sunbathe every afternoon if posible. Direct sunlight has so many health benefits, especially during the winter!
- If required, wear supportive/protective gear like knee braces/protective socks etc.
More than anything else, keep your spirits up. The winter does not last very long in our country....