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Activity Mustn’t Stop When the Mercury Drops

When temperatures plummet, people tend to hibernate. Hibernating is for bears! As humans, it is crucial to stay active through all four seasons. Doing so will help you maintain a healthy immune system, avoid weight gain, and the loss of lean muscle mass, strength and stamina. However, if the thought of exercising outdoors in winter makes you want to dive under the covers, you are not alone. A poll of 5000 people found 30% get no exercise at all during the winter months.

The frigid temperatures outside are not a valid excuse to avoid physical activity. There are many excellent indoor options for cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. A physical therapist can design a program specific to the exercise options available to you and address any physical concerns you may have.

For cardiovascular exercise, there is equipment on the market to simulate virtually every outdoor activity. Whether you choose to purchase the equipment or go to a gym, do your research. Be sure the equipment is sound. In this category is the elliptical trainer, the treadmill, the stationary bike, the cross country ski machine, the Versa-climber, and the Stairmaster, to name a few. However, you can also walk at a mall or even swim at a local indoor pool.

For resistance training, you can join a gym. If you really want to stay indoors, create your own home gym. You don’t need much. A physical therapist can design a strength training program using an exercise ball, resistance bands, dumbbells, or even your own body weight for resistance. Another possibility for a strengthening and/or cardiovascular workout are exercise videos.

Expending energy invigorates the body and the mind. Exercise releases endorphins and strengthens the immune system. So remember, this season and every other, it is critical to remain active, no matter what the temperature outside.

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Written by Brooks Juneau

January 1, 2006 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Exercise

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