A person bundled up in winter weather clothing outside, clutches their scarf closely to their face.

Support Your Body Through The Winter

Winter: a challenging season for so many of us with chronic conditions like AxSpA. The short days and cold temperatures are felt deep down in the bones and joints. This season oftentimes triggers more flares, and feelings of low energy, tiredness and frustration.

It feels so right to go (and stay all day) on the couch, bundle up in lots of blankets, drink the 5th (or more) cup of tea, eat comfort food, and turn to Netflix. This is of course normal, and those slow days are needed. However, it's also important to look after our bodies even more, to prevent entering into a vicious cycle where symptoms get worse.

Thus, I would like to share a few lifestyle tips for this winter season.  We need to support our bodies, to find ways to get through those extra winter flares with more ease.

Start your day with gentle movement

A yoga session, a morning walk, some stretching - the key is to get your body moving, get the blood flow going, which in turn will raise your energy levels. It will also support you for the rest of the day when you are sitting more.

Move throughout the day

I have made it a goal to get up every hour, even if it’s just to make tea or walk a bit around my apartment. Spending more time inside doesn’t mean we have to sit all day. It’s important to interrupt the sitting with some active movement. Another short stretching session, a few squats, walking up the stairs, etc.

Relax with an Epsom salt bath

If you feel extra achy, tired, and in pain, allow yourself time to recharge in a warm bath. In water, Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. This process can release stiff joints and help relax muscles.

Consume bone broth

Through its powerful nutritional profile, bone broth supports gut, joint, and immune health. You can drink it like tea, or use it with steamed veggies, or in soups and stews (yummm...warm wintery food).

Prioritize your sleep

This is such a key step to strengthen your immune system and become more resilient as you face flares. A few suggestions: aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep, reduce your exposure to light at night (turning off electronic devices an hour before sleep), create a relaxing sleep environment, manage your stress with an evening meditation, deep breathing, yoga, etc.

Experiment with those ideas to see what works for you this winter season. Don't forget to be kind to yourself and listen to your body.

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