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Dr. Rick's Health Tip of the Month

January 2001
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Top Five Reasons Why Exercise is Important Over the Winter

By Rick Allen, DC


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  1. It helps keep the winter holiday weight off. Let's face reality. We all eat more over the winter holidays. The average Thanksgiving meal can include as many as 3,500 calories and that's just the start of the holiday eating binge. You can either use those extra calories to fuel your winter exercise or you can store them as fat. The choice is yours.

  2. It keeps the fitness momentum on track. When you exercise on a regular basis, it's easier to stay motivated. By making your workouts a regular part of your daily schedule, you'll keep fitness a part of your life through winter and into the warmer seasons.

  3. It's not fun to jump-start a fitness program. A layoff of three or four weeks is enough to lose your cardiovascular conditioning...and starting from scratch is never easy.

  4. You need to maintain a decent training base to reach performance levels at spring races. If you take a break from exercise over the winter, you won't be in condition to race at your best in the spring, especially if you have your eyes set on a spring marathon. At a minimum, exercise three or four times per week for 30 to 45 minutes a session and you will be able to rebuild your training as the weather warms up.

  5. It reduces the stress of the holiday season. Winter exercise is a healthy way to deal with all the pressures of the holiday season. It will help you feel better as you race around to meet holiday deadlines and attend holiday functions.

For specific questions about exercising and staying healthy during the holiday season, contact Dr. Rick Allen at (503) 257-1324. Dr. Allen is a Professional Member of the American Medical Athletic Association, www.americanrunning.org.

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