The short, cold, dark days of winter keep us indoors and curled up somewhere cosy. We spend more time sitting – reading perhaps or watching TV – and often spend more time in front of a screen. Outdoor exercise is a challenge, with walking, cycling and gardening only possible for the few short daylight hours, assuming it’s not stormy, icy or snowy.

We tend to hunch up and brace ourselves against the cold so wear enough layers to keep your shoulders away from your ears and your body relaxed! Avoid head and earache with a hat to keep your head warm and windproof. If you are sitting more, think about your posture. Is your back and neck supported? Give your shoulders a rest by using the armrests on your armchair or sofa. If you are sitting at a laptop or computer, keep your back against the back of the chair. When you lean into the screen with your chin poking out, you stress the tiny muscles at the top of the neck and this can give you a headache. It also strains the upper back. Sit back, draw your chin in and let your shoulders drop – hold it there and take regular breaks.

Your body needs to move! It’s sort of a definition of being alive. During the winter months you can maintain your strength and fitness with indoor classes or home-based exercises. A Swiss ball and a set of weights can really help to keep you fit. Ask your osteopath for some exercises tailored to your particular needs.

My favourite reads of 2022 to see you through the long dark evenings:

  • Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Sea Is Not Made Of Water by Adam Nicolson
  • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake