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Maintaining Your Exercise Routine Through Fall And Winter

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

None of us want to admit it but the fall weather is coming. For many this means the end to sports, working around the yard and going for walks. This should not however mean the beginning of a long stretch of sitting on the couch and inactivity. The cold weather does not mean the end to exercise.

With the reduction of outdoor activities available some become very sedentary. Winter doesn't have to mean going into hibernation and becoming inactive. Staying active and exercising is just as important to one's health in the colder months as it is throughout the summer.

For starters it is a good idea to continue walking. Bundling up and going for a fall or winter walk is a great way to continue exercising once the golf courses have closed. When the weather prevents walking outside, getting to the mall or a fitness center with an indoor track is a good substitute. If you don't already have an area at home for working out or a gym membership this would be a great time to get one. This eliminates weather as an excuse for inactivity. A gym membership and beginning an exercise routine now is a good way to stay in shape for the duration of the winter no matter what the weather.

Trading in your golf clubs or baseball bat for some dumb bells or a treadmill is a good start. There are also several fall and winter sports to help stay fit and keep feeding that competitive fire. Hockey once or twice a week is a great cardiovascular workout. Volleyball is another good cold weather sport that can help maintain a good level of activity. There are local centers with year round swimming pools. Swimming is just about the best low-impact, full body workout that can be enjoyed throughout the winter.

To make it even easier and take the travel out of your routine many easy yet effective exercise programs can be done at home with little or no equipment. Your chiropractor or personal trainer can set you up with an appropriate routine for your particular situation. These routines can be tailored to fit your lifestyle and help you reach your own personal fitness goals.

A simple piece of equipment that allows for low impact stretching and exercising is a Thera-Ball or Exercise-Ball. Exercising using a Thera-Ball all also provides a great way to strengthen the core muscles in the spine. These muscles play a major role in stabilizing the spine. Using an exercise ball can be simple, quick and a great workout that can be done in your own living room while watching television.

As with any exercise routine a chiropractor or medical doctor should be consulted prior to starting. A health professional can make sure you are on the right program for your current state of health. Whatever way you intend to stay active, the key is to pick something you enjoy and something that is manageable within your available time. Set some fitness goals and strive to meet them. Most important is get active and stay active. Staying active now is also the best way to fend off those extra pounds that can sometimes creep in during the holidays.