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Dealing with the Cold Weather

Posted Dec 06 2009 11:53am

It’s been unusually COLD in Texas these last few days.  We had almost 4 inches of SNOW in Houston, Austin had over 1 hour of snow flurries and it seems the white stuff was received as far South as Corpus Christi, TX!!

When the temperatures plunge I do enjoy having the opportunity to have a few chills….the summers here have been so terribly brutal the last two years.  While I do enjoy the cooler weather, it brings a new array of problems for me.  I am moving more slowly and finding that the stiffness I have in the morning goes away more slowly.

Dealing with the stiffness and inability to move freely seems minor to me compared to sweating profusely in the summer!!! LOL.  I know that there are many people who do prefer the warmer temperatures, but I like the cold weather.  Here are a few tips I’ve learned for dealing with the stiffness and slowness of movement that I’m having this winter.

Taking the time to THINK about moving more slowly and deliberately is a must these days.  While the stiffness and slowness of movement seem to be inevitable – I also have to slow down my thoughts so that I am not purposely rushing about.  In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we are all impatient and rushing about.  I am thinking about putting one foot in front of the other.  I am thinking about how I move in a crowd so that I don’t get “caught up” in the flood of movement.  THAT’s when my feet don’t move so quickly and I stumble.

Last week, while getting off of an airplane I used my cane the entire time.  I moved to the side of the jetway and walked slowly telling those behind me to go on around.  I smile and tell them, “I’m moving a little slowly today.” and this gives everyone the green light to rush on by me.

The stiffness in my body always responds to heat and warm moisture.  If I know I’m going out where there will be other people I try to take a long bath in order to warm up my muscles before I leave.  Then I stretch slowly working my muscles into more flexibility.  It’s hard to take the time to do all of this when I have to get out of the door – but it’s well worth it.  Stretching and warming up the muscles ensure that I can move more fluidly.

If I’ve been sitting for awhile I try to move my feet and legs frequently while sitting.  Then rising from a seated position isn’t quite so difficult.  And lately, I’ve been using my cane a lot.  It gives me the stability I need and the reminder I need to SLOW DOWN while walking.

But most of all….this week I stayed inside the house when it snowed.  I took a few pictures of my husband with snowflakes in his hair….but I stayed out of the wet, frozen stuff to make sure my footing was not compromised.  I know there are many of you who do not have the luxury of staying out of the slushy, frozen snow.  So, the most helpful thing I know is to be careful, step gingerly, take your time.  And if it looks dangerous, just don’t go there.

Stay warm!

Posted in Parkinson's Disease, Rigidity/Stiffness Tagged: Parkinson's Disease, Stiffness in colder weather
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