To Protect Your Joints from the Cold, Warm Yourself, and Your Environment

As a child, you may have loved the cold and enjoyed playing outside in the snow — or maybe you dreamed of doing so. However, now that you are older, the cold winter months might not seem quite as exciting. Not only does winter often require more work — such as shoveling snow from the driveway and scraping ice from your windshield — for many people, it also brings about increased joint pain. And even if you do not live in a climate with extreme cold or snow, you may still feel the effects of the changing seasons.

Two of the best ways to protect your joints from cold and reduce joint pain during the winter are to keep yourself and your environment warm. Here are some tips to help with both.

3 Ways to Keep Yourself Warm

1. Start a warming bedtime ritual. Begin by putting a hot water bottle under your bedsheets. Next, step into a warm bath. The bath will not only warm you, it will help you relax and get a better night’s sleep. Get in your pajamas right away to help retain the heat. Then, head straight to your warm bed!

2. Wear a hat and scarf, indoors and out. An exposed head and neck can make you feel cold, tense and shivery. You can always choose to wear your hat and scarf inside to stay warm. If you do wear a scarf indoors, be safe — and always remove it while you are cooking or near an open flame.

3. Take advantage of the new lightweight materials now available. If it has been a while since you have purchased a winter jacket or long underwear, you may be surprised to find there are many new materials and options available. The new styles are low-cost, very warm and much less bulky than in the past.

3 Ways to Keep Your Environment Warm

1. Use a programmable thermostat. When you are sleeping or away from home, it makes sense to keep the temperature in your house low. If you use a programmable thermostat to automatically turn down the temperature 10-15 degrees for just eight hours per day, it can cut your heating bill by approximately 10 percent. That way, you
can afford to turn it up when you are home to keep those joints nice and toasty.

2. Use a space heater. Use space heaters in the rooms you use most often. Turn them on and off as needed, and warm up your favorite space so you can keep the temperature in the rest of the house low.

3. Block drafts. Install weather-stripping around doors and windows, pull your drapes closed at night and cover your windows and patio doors with plastic film.

Finally, if you use electrical devices such as heating pads or space heaters to keep warm, stay safe. If these items are old or if cords are fraying, do not use them and never leave these items unattended or on all night.