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Winter Exercise Options


QUESTION:

With all of this bad winter weather, how can I get enough exercise?

ANSWER:

Cold winter weather, along with snow, ice or rain can indeed put a damper on outdoor activities.  However, do not prematurely admit defeat to the elements.  Even when it is cold outside or the roads are impassable, you can still get in a considerable amount of exercise at home or in your back yard.

Here are a few examples:

Do you have stairs?  If so, these are one of the oldest forms of exercise equipment waiting for you to ascend and climb your make-believe mountain.  If you climb and descend your stairs 50 times, and assuming a 10 ft elevation and a body weight of 176 lbs. (80 kg), you will climb 152 meters, burn 200 calories, and get a decent moderate to intense cardiovascular work out!

Are you close to a shopping mall?  Many individuals who live in the northern areas of the U.S. will vouch for the walking exercise they can achieve inside a shopping mall.  In fact, many communities have organized sessions for exercise enthusiasts to walk in camaraderie with friends and strangers who soon become new friends.  If these sessions do not exist in your town, then consider organizing one yourself.

Enjoy the snow.  As long as it is not subzero temperatures, then why not get into it and simply play.  Consider the possibilities!  Maybe a snow sled, cross country skis, or a good pair of gloves that allow you to make snow balls.  Running through a foot or two of snow away from an incoming snowball attack is great exercise!  If you have children, then there is a lot of family fun to be had in a good game of snow football too.

Treat winter with the opportunity to exercise a little differently than usual.  Think positive and embrace the winter exercise opportunities that do not exist in the summer.  Variety is the spice of your exercise and life.

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Our expert, Dr. Sharon E. Griffin, holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in the areas of exercise science/physiology.  She also holds a second M.S. degree in Nutrition and is a licensed nutritionist and an ACSM certified health and fitness instructor.

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