Staying Healthy and Active During the Winter Holiday Season

When the cooler, stormy Pacific Northwest weather pairs with the hustle and bustle (and delicious foods) of the holidays, it can be challenging to keep active and fit during the winter season. Participating in a regular walking program can be an easy, cost-effective way to keep activity levels up. Your only expense is comfortable clothing and a good pair of shoes. Talking a friend, family member or neighbor into being a walking buddy can help increase enjoyment and regular compliance.

Walking is a great low-impact exercise for developing and maintaining cardiovascular fitness. It is associated with a reduced risk of heart attack and developing type 2 diabetes. Other benefits of walking include increased energy, increased muscle tone, stress reduction and weight control.

Make your walking program work for you by choosing a fun and safe place to walk. Choose paths that are not too hard, such as dirt/gravel trails or wood chip paths. Some suggested places in the community with walking paths and some great canopy coverage/enjoyable scenery are Bald Hill, Mary’s River Park, Oak Creek forest trails, Willamette Park and the Peavey Arboretum. If the winter outdoors isn’t your thing, consider making your shopping trips to Heritage Mall, Winco, or Costco a bit longer for an indoor walking plan.

It is recommended to build in 30 minutes of continuous exercise into your day, 5 days per week. However, if it is a challenge to set aside a 30 minute block, split up the time-10 minutes here, 20 minutes there-to modify the program to meet your realistic schedule.

For more information about starting a walking program, stop by our office for a free brochure! It is never too late to start and always too soon to stop!

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