Aches and pains now winter’s approaching? This is what you need to do!

Aches and pains now winter’s approaching? This is what you need to do!

With the clocks set to go back at the end of October and the darkness creeping in earlier and earlier every night, you may start finding it difficult to keep fit.

And it’s made even harder with the aches and pains that become so common as the seasons change and we move closer to the coldest depths of winter.

Doctors say exercise – even short, gentle strolls – can help relieve the discomfort from painful joints, bones and muscles. But the aggravation can put people off from bothering with keeping physically active in the first place.

Exercise can make you feel so much better, but at this time of year it can be hard to get out there

If you are wanting to get fit or keep up your fitness and wellness regime, but worry that bad weather or creaky joints might put you off, read on. There’s a lot you can do to help you stay on track, from supplements to motivational techniques. 

And if you’d like to learn more, or receive personalised advice from qualified experts, drop into your local Holland & Barrett store where one of their experts will be happy to help you.  

Motivation, motivation, motivation 

Yes it’s cold outside, it may even be raining, and dark. But you need to motivate yourself to get out there, whatever the weather and however you’re feeling.

Setting a goal is key, so work out what yours is. Is it to walk every day? Achieve a couch to 5k? Fit back into that dress you love by Christmas, or boost your fitness? 

Once you’ve set your goal, put a picture, party invite, or motivational phrase up on the fridge, or somewhere you’ll see it every day, to remind yourself why you want to stay on track.

Set a goal and put it somewhere you can see it every day, to help keep you on track

Set a goal and put it somewhere you can see it every day, to help keep you on track

Try a supplement (or two)  

When joints and bones are your problem, there are several supplements designed with you in mind, such as the new H&B Expert Multi Action Joint Support. 

This contains a host of joint supporting and highly researched ingredients, plus ‘undenatured’ collagen – the form of this vital protein most readily used by your body.

Collagen is an essential component of all joints, but we produce less of it as we get older, which is what makes our joints feel stiff. 

H&B has developed Expert Multi Action Joint Support with their 150 years’ experience of formulating vitamins, to provide the best possible absorption. It is designed entirely to support healthy joints, bones and muscles, allowing you to feel your best so you can keep fit - even in the depths of winter and when you feel stiff all over

H&B has developed Expert Multi Action Joint Support with their 150 years’ experience of formulating vitamins, to provide the best possible absorption. It is designed entirely to support healthy joints, bones and muscles, allowing you to feel your best so you can keep fit – even in the depths of winter and when you feel stiff all over

This clever formula also boasts manganese, a silvery metal which contributes to the normal formation of connective tissue, which slowly degrades with age, as well as Vitamin C.

ASK THE EXPERTS

Holland & Barrett experts are all qualified to advise on nutrition and supplements, so they will be happy to advise you on your individual needs.

They have more than 700 stores across the UK and Ireland, so just pop in and ask.

While you might often think of it as an immunity booster, Vitamin C also contributes to normal collagen formation, helping to keep cartilage – the tissue that covers joints and acts as a shock absorber whenever you move – working in old age. Music to the ears of those who feel a bit creaky when they start moving!

Other ingredients in the H&B Expert Multi Action Joint Support supplement, which should be taken three times a day alongside a capsule of Omega 3 (provided), include turmeric and ginger, to support joint mobility.  There’s also high-strength chondroitin and MSM to help with cartilage, so vital to prevent creaky joints.

Another nutrient that helps support muscle function and bone maintenance (something many of us start to think about in mid-life) is magnesium, which also helps with tiredness. 

Your body’s levels of the mineral can be depleted through even gentle exercise.

Magnesium – which helps the body convert the food you eat into energy – contributes to keeping muscles healthy and the maintenance of bones. Holland & Barrett, which has 1,600 stores scattered across 16 countries, offers a form of the mineral for £14.99. It recommends you take its vegan-friendly Magnesium Citrate 600mg product three times a day

Or, for customers seeking a dose of more than just magnesium to support their skeleton and keep fit this winter, the retailer – which is updating its packaging over the coming months as part of a sustainability drive – also offers a Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium option, which is also vegan

Magnesium – which helps the body convert the food you eat into energy – contributes to keeping muscles healthy and the maintenance of bones. Holland & Barrett offers a form of the mineral for £14.99. It recommends you take its vegan-friendly Magnesium Citrate 600mg product three times a day

You can take magnesium as a stand-alone supplement (try H&B’s vegan Magnesium Citrate 600mg, £14.99), or as part of a formula, such as H&B’s one-a-day vegan Calcium + Magnesium & Vitamin D (£6.49).

Finally, don’t forget about glucosamine. This mineral is naturally found in the body, and is an essential component of all joints. Try Holland & Barrett’s one-a-day vegan supplement containing 500mg (£9.89).

Track your progress

To keep yourself going, logging your progress is a brilliant motivator. 

Buy yourself a fitness watch, download a fitness app, or mark every day you exercise on your kitchen calendar or diary. If you’re running or walking, tot up the miles, and if you’re working out, add up the workouts.

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of looking back at how far you’ve come to make you want to keep going.

Tracking your progress on a fitness app or watch can really help keep you motivated 

Treat yourself! 

Getting some new kit can really help give you the boost you need to get off the sofa and out of your front door – you might even look forward to putting it on! 

And it doesn’t need to be expensive – some of the big supermarkets do excellent fitness wear for very reasonable prices.

Listen up 

A good soundtrack helps, so take some time to put one together, and keep changing it so you don’t get tired of it.

If you’re planning on doing cardio, such as running, cycling or a workout, music from your youth is particularly good or why not look for a specialised workout playlist on your music streaming service? 

It just needs a fast beat to keep you going.

Something good to listen to can really help you enjoy your workout, walk or run

Alternatively, if your plan is to walk more, a really good podcast or audio book will keep you so gripped, you won’t notice the miles racking up. 

Make it social 

Why not arrange to exercise regularly with a friend?  Whether they’re more into fitness than you, or need the added push to get out there, it’s more fun with a friend, and you’ll feel bad about cancelling on them, so it’ll help you both. 

Getting fit with friends is easier – and more fun – than doing it by yourself

Exercise is easier if you’re enjoying yourself, plus you won’t notice any creaky bits so much if you’re chatting, so make a plan and enjoy yourself. 

There’s no reason why this autumn/winter shouldn’t be your best one yet – so get out there and enjoy yourself.

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