By Brett Schweizer, DO–The Everett Clinic at Marysville
As the warmth of sun turns to rain and the clear skies turn to grey, it becomes harder to get out and exercise. Here are some helpful tips on how you can stay safe and healthy during the winter months.
Wear bright clothes when jogging, walking, and bike riding. Wear your helmet when you ride a bike, no matter your age. Go for walks or jogs with a buddy - you are never too old for the buddy system. Obey all the traffic laws: use crosswalks, signals, give pedestrians the right of way, be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid heavy traffic.
Walking, jogging, bike riding, hiking, swimming, rock climbing (indoor or outdoor), canoeing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and going to the gym are great options.
If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your health, having a routine or a workout partner will drastically increase your consistency with exercise. Dedicating time to work out three days a week will drastically improve your results compared to just trying to exercise “when you get free time.”
Avoid long stints of inactivity such as TV, movies, computers and video games. Media eats up a lot of time so try to limit your media time to 1-2 hours a day.
It is much harder to exercise to “burn off” that Twinkie® than it is to just avoid it. A Twinkie has 150 calories - it will take you 50 minutes of walking to burn that off. When you aren’t as active, it is time to cut the sweets and desserts and perhaps cut back on your portions.
Follow most of these concepts, most of the time and you should do pretty well this winter. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do put on a couple of pounds, as we’ve all been there. Just stay as active as possible.