Welcome to Healthy Tips! Every other month we will post useful health care tips for women here on our website. These will cover topics of interest to women of all ages. We hope you find the information helpful.
Get Outdoors for a Healthier Winter
The cold, snowy days of winter make it tempting to curl up with a movie, while indulging in tasty snacks. But winter actually offers wonderful ways to keep active and burn lots of calories. As a bonus, being out in the crisp, clean air can help boost your immune system and better enable you to fight off germs. Outdoor exercise will also help you sleep better, which in turn aids your overall health. Plus, catching more of the sun’s rays can give you a healthy dose of much-needed Vitamin D. Being active outside is also a proven mood booster, partly because exercise releases feel-good endorphins, but also because sunlight exposure during the dark days of winter can help fight the depression that some experience during this season.
Here are some tips on great outdoor exercise options that are easy to indulge in:
Cross-country skiing: Cross-country skiing can be done by women of all ages. It is weight-bearing, so it helps you fight osteoporosis, but the gliding motion is easy on the joints. You can go at your own pace, but the combination of moving arms and legs simultaneously makes it a great cardio workout.
Skating: It is never too late to learn to skate and many rinks offer learn-to-skate programs, some for adults only. Mastering basic stroking and stopping is not hard, and opens up another excellent exercise. Skating is also weight-bearing, a good cardio workout, helps you maintain good posture, and boosts your balance skills. Skate outside on ponds once the ice is considered safe, or head to a local rink where public skating is available at minimal cost.
Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is like walking on steroids! You will burn significant calories as you tramp through the snow, and snowshoeing allows you to explore woods and fields and vary your winter hikes. It is easy to learn, weight-bearing and a good cardio workout. Snowshoeing is also a great workout for all ages.
Winter walking: Walking is still great exercise, even in winter, just be sure to dress in layers so you can stay comfortable as your body warms up. Wear shoes or boots with good gripping soles to avoid slipping in slush or ice. If you wear boots, test your footwear with a short walk first to make sure they will not bother your feet over a longer distance. (Many walkers opt for leather sneakers because they are light enough weight-wise to be comfortable over a distance, yet are waterproof; lightweight hiking shoes are also good.) Shorter winter days can make it difficult to get a walk in before dark; to be safe, either walk on sidewalks, or if you are in a rural area and walking at dusk, be sure to wear reflective clothing and carry a light.
Hitting the gym for exercise classes and to use the machines is still an excellent fitness option, but try changing up your fitness routine by taking it outside. You may find new motivation to work out while enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. As a bonus, most of these activities can be done as a family, so everyone can get fit together.
For more information about Partners for Women’s Health call (603) 778-0557.
Exercising offers many benefits to pregnant women. Not only will it help prevent excess weight gain, it will also boost your energy, help you sleep better, and support your immune system.
Exercising in winter can be more challenging, but there are still plenty of options. You may not be hitting the slopes or the skating rink but outdoors or indoors, you can find a workout that works for you.
As with any exercise program, consult with your doctor before starting one.
* Cross-country skiing on a level, easy course is a great all-over workout. Cross-country also allows you to ski at your own pace.
* Snowshoeing also provides a good workout, and again, allows you to go at your own pace. You can also choose terrain that you are comfortable with.
* Walking is always good, but you need to be careful of icy roadsides and walkways.
* If outdoor walking is not feasible, head to the mall. Many malls have indoor walking routes and quite a few also have walking clubs so you can exercise with friends.
* Swimming in an indoor pool, or a moderate class of aquacise is great exercise.
* Yoga provides excellent toning while building strength, stamina and flexibility. A number of yoga instructors also offer classes designed for moms-to-be.
As with any fitness program, the most successful ones are comprised of activities you enjoy, and are usually a mix. Try swimming one day, walking the next, and maybe snowshoeing on the weekend. This way, you don’t get bored and you use different sets of muscles.
When exercising, be sure not to get overheated. If exercising causes cramping, excessive exhaustion or rapid heart rate, stop and consult with your doctor before resuming any exercise program.
Staying strong, fit and healthy will help make your pregnancy easier, and ensure a healthy baby.
For more information about Partners for Women’s Health, call (603) 778-0557.