Be Active! Even in the winter…
Don’t let the cold weather and snow limit your daily activity levels. During the winter season, it is easy to let physical activity drop by the waist side. The days are shorter and nights colder, which will typically limit our activity levels.
Recent studies from the Mayo Clinic, have shown the increased number of health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle or more importantly, a lifestyle with too little exercise. The studies recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week to help prevent or manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer among other illnesses.
American Academy of Family Physicians (2015) mentions tips to reduce sedentary time, including taking a brief standing break at your desk every 30 minutes, using the stairs instead of the elevators, walking to your co-workers desk to ask a question instead of emailing, etc. Although sometimes these tips are not feasible, the take home message is that reducing the amount of time sitting throughout the day will correlate to better health.
Spring is around the corner, but we don’t have to wait for spring to increase our activity levels and promote a healthier lifestyle!
Some of my recommendations to add a little exercise into your daily routine while being inside include:
Climbing the stairs- stair climbing requires recruiting the largest muscle groups (the legs) which is a great way to burn calories and improve aerobic capacity.
Wall Squats- Have a bare wall in your home? Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions 2 times per day to help build leg strength.
Chair sits- perform 10 to 20 sit-to-stands a few times per day using a sturdy chair. To make it more difficult, try not to push up with your arms.
These exercises are basic but effective for when the weather is not nice enough to go outside or when you are just too busy or tired from work to go to the gym.
PTW’s Marc Shoettle, DPT is an excellent Direct Access Certified Physical Therapist that can further explain any of the exercises above, or help if that nagging pain just won't go away! For an initial evaluation, call Marc at 610 630 0101 today for an appointment as soon as possible!
1) Owen N, Sparling PB, Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Matthews CE. Sedentary Behavior: Emerging Evidence for a New Health Risk. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85(12):1138-1141. doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0444.
2) Biswas A, Oh PI, Faulkner GE, Bajaj RR, Silver MA, Mitchell MS, et al. Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:123-132. doi:10.7326/M14-1651
4) Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis in Obesity Management
Villablanca, Pedro A. et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings , Volume 90 , Issue 4 , 509 – 519