Winter in the northern hemisphere brings unfavourable weather conditions like freezing rain, snow, and cold temperatures. In such situations, probably most of us like to stay indoors with our heaters on and cozy sweaters. During winters, days get shorter and nights get longer. Nature does not give us enough time to stay outdoors. Staying indoors for a long time can have changes in your physical activity, and reduce your exposure to vitamin D from sunlight. Some research suggests that winter weather might reduce our energy, mood, and affect active travelling. Perhaps, it may also increase sitting and sleeping time. These changes lead to our physical inactivity in winters (1).
Benefits of Physically Active
Physically active will have a direct benefit to both mental and physical health. Few researchers found that people who are physically active all year round are better at their daily routines, tend to have stronger self-motivation, enjoy things better, and can face challenges better. Other significant outcomes include,
- Promotes normal well-being
- Reduces tiredness
- Improves stress management
- Relieves mental depression
- Enhances positive mood, self-esteem, and confidence
- Prevents health issues such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer AND
- Helps to build a strong immune system (1)
The recommended amount of physical activity is found to be 150 to 300 minutes which includes moderate-intensity activities like brisk walking, fast dancing, and muscle-strengthening activities like pushups, weight lifting at least twice a week. These durations can vary between age groups. The health service guidelines for Americans say,
- For youth - physical activity can improve cognition, bone health, fitness, and heart health
- For adults - it helps in preventing cancer, risk of dementia, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, improves bone health, physical function, and quality of life
- For pregnant women - reduces the risk of postpartum depression and weight loss
- For all other groups - helps to maintain healthy body weight (2).
Move More, Sit Less in Winter
Start moving, make a plan and keep going with the plan are some motivations to have a healthy lifestyle, especially in winters. Due to their excellent outcomes, a variety of physical activities can be practised based on your preference. If you're an indoor person try aerobic exercises, workouts with minimal equipment like yoga, dancing, and other household activities as part of your daily routine. If you like to go outdoors, spend time shovelling snow, ice skating, hiking, sledding, building a snowman, walking with some music, snow fights are some of the other ways to be physically active with your family (3,4).
Among other benefits, maintaining a regular pattern in physical activity helps in protecting the bones. Irregular/no activity can lead to poor bone health, often causing weakness. One such condition is called osteoarthritis (related to bone). It is most commonly known that physical activity has a tremendous role in managing the condition of arthritis.
Arthritis: Arthritis is the inflammation or swelling of one or more bone joints. The common symptoms are joint pain and losing stiffness. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, often called "degenerative joint disease" or "wear and tear arthritis". It is caused by a breakdown or damage of joint cartilage (type of connective tissue) between the bones. This can lead to reduced function and disability of a person even to do their daily tasks. It usually occurs in the hands, hips, and knees. Many types of treatments are given to people to relieve the pain (5, 6). In general, some of the treatments of arthritis include,
- Increasing physical activity
- Performing muscle strengthening exercises
- Losing weight
- Taking medications
- Using supportive devices and surgeries (5, 6)
However, protecting joints from injuries can help to overcome these kinds of difficulties. Many pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries are developing formulations for people with arthritis. One such formulation by Grand Health® is "GluCollagen". This formulation contains ingredients such as Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulphate, and Chicken type 2 collagen. These ingredients are used in many supplements for ages and are known to be effective in patients with osteoarthritis.
GluCollagen by Grand Health®
Osteoarthritis will not only affect the body functions but also causes an economic burden on patients resulting in poor health outcomes, and poor quality of life. To save money and health, Grand Health® has chosen ingredients with strong scientific and clinical evidence that support pain relief caused by osteoarthritis. It also helps to prevent cartilage degradation, support joint integrity, and maintain bone health.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are the most commonly used supplements to treat osteoarthritis. Both are naturally occurring compounds in the healthy cartilage. They help to protect the cells called chondrocytes (help in maintaining the cartilage structure). Consuming them is found to slow down the deterioration in the joints and helps to reduce the pain. These compounds can be readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract when consumed orally. After the absorption, they rapidly undergo metabolism in the liver and first pass effect. It is then eliminated through urine or feces. Most European countries use this as a prescribed treatment for osteoarthritis (7, 8).
Chicken type 2 collagen is an abundant protein in animals. It is the main structural component of the cartilage. Degradation of this protein leads to progression in osteoarthritis. Commercially, it is obtained from the sternum cartilage of chicken. When consumed orally they turn off the autoimmune cell attack which will otherwise destroy the structure of this protein in the cartilage. In human trials, native type 2 collagen was found to be effective in improving functional status and reducing pain caused by osteoarthritis. Moreover, few studies also suggest using combinational treatment of these 3 ingredients together will have some beneficial effects (9, 10).
Based on the discussion, we can conclude by saying “something is better than nothing”. Even a small duration of physical activity will have a beneficial effect on the body, especially on the "bone". Try to engage more in outdoor activities during fall and winter. And also, don’t forget to check out our product Glucollagen on our website https://www.grand-health.com/.
- The Conversation. Winter exercise is important for maintaining physical and mental health. https://theconversation.com/winter-exercise-is-important-for-maintaining-physical-and-mental-health-149601. Accessed February 09, 2022.
- gov. Top 10 things to know about second edition of the physical activity guidelines for Americans. https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/physical-activity-guidelines/current-guidelines/top-10-things-know. Accessed February 09, 2022.
- American Institute for Cancer Research. Be physically active as a part of your everyday life-walk more and sit less. https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/recommendations/be-physically-active/. Accessed February 10, 2022.
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Food. Staying Active in Winter. https://food.unl.edu/article/staying-active-winter. Accessed February 10, 2022.
- Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Arthritis Types. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/types/index.html. Accessed February 11, 2022.
- Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Osteoarthritis (OA).
https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm. Accessed February 11, 2022.
- Fox, B. A., & Stephens, M. M. (2007). Glucosamine hydrochloride for the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2(4), 599.
- Arthritis Foundation. Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Osteoarthritis Pain. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/supplements-and-vitamins/glucosamine-chondroitin-osteoarthritis-pain. Accessed February 15, 2022.
- Bakilan, F., Armagan, O., Ozgen, M., Tascioglu, F., Bolluk, O., & Alatas, O. (2016). Effects of native type II collagen treatment on knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial. The Eurasian journal of medicine, 48(2), 95.
- Arthritis Foundation. Are Collagen Supplements Helpful for Arthritis? http://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/collagen-supplements-helpful-arthritis/. Accessed February 15, 2022.