Dr. David Katz helps you defend your joints from the cold with practical advice for optimal joint health.
Hello, Dr. David Katz here. And today I'm talking about the weather and our joints, in particular cold weather which I am experiencing at the moment, at home in Connecticut. Now, most of us who have joint issues, wear & tear and any other kind of problem, probably already know that we can detect changes in the weather. Whatever joint issue you have tends to get worse when the weather's about to change. That actually makes sense. The weather changes, fronts come through, barometric pressure changes. That's essentially the atmospheric pressure all around us. That affects our bodies. And when there's a sudden change in barometric pressure, tissues in the body may move just a little bit relative to one another, expand or contract, because there's more or less pressure on them. And if that happens inside a joint that is painful, inflamed, it makes sense that that might induce some discomfort. So, I don't know if you want to rely on an achy joint to predict the weather or just listen to the forecast. But, it turns out that both can do the trick.
Cold weather also can directly affect joints. And this mechanism primarily has to do with blood flow. Essentially, the colder the weather we're exposed to, the more the body concentrates blood flow in the core, keeping the vital organs warm. What that means is the periphery, the limbs, tend to get a bit less blood. Now most of us notice that because we come back from the cold and our fingers are a bit blanched or our toes are a bit blanched. Obviously, they're very cold. And the body is actually pumping blood back into the center of itself to preserve warmth where it's most important. But the result of that may be that joints are getting a bit less blood flow. They're being nourished a bit less well. They're being oxygenated a bit less well. And all of that can aggravate any joint issues that were there before.
What can you do about this? Well obviously, if you're going out in the cold you want to dress for the cold. And if you bring warmth with you when you go outside, you can remain active with or without joint issues. And you can actually preserve that good blood flow throughout the body. Obviously taking care of yourself overall, eating well, being active in general, not smoking. This is all conducive to optimal blood flow and optimal contents of your blood as well, oxygenation for example. And this is a reminder that everything in the body is interconnected. So good blood flow is critical to the health of joints.
Now if you're having joint issues that are preventing you from being active, inactivity will tend to reduce the efficiency and health of muscles which in turn will reduce blood flow throughout the body, including to the joints. So, doing something to address the joint issues, joint discomfort so you can remain active is very important. That's where something like Instaflex Advanced may be so helpful to you. It may contribute to a defense against the cold, but in particular by relieving joint issues and allowing you to be active, it'll make you more tolerant of the cold. It'll make your joints healthier in general. So physical activity absolutely key.
- There are certain nutrients that may be specifically helpful in defense against cold weather's effects on the joints:
- • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – get from fish & seafood, supplement
- • Vitamin K – good for bone health in general
But really the best things to do are stay active, stay well hydrated which is also crucial for facilitating healthy blood flow throughout the body. But take good care of yourself overall. The best way to have the healthiest possible joints is to be the healthiest possible you. That involves avoiding toxins like tobacco, eating optimally, mostly plant-based diet, variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils and lots of seeds with or without anything else you may be inclined to eat. But a diet of wholesome foods in sensible combinations and routine physical activity. That last one's a challenge because as important as that is for joint health, joint issues may get in the way of being physically active. But again, a supplement like Instaflex Advanced to relieve joint issues may enable the physical activity that in turn makes your joints robust in general and also robust in the cold weather.
Until next time, I'm Dr. David Katz. Wishing you well.