Ways to enjoy exercise during the cold winter months
While the weather outside might be frightful and sitting in front of the fire might be so delightful, it is still important to be active during the winter months. Finding a way to get daily exercise has multiple benefits. To begin, exercise can strengthen your immune system so it can fight off the bacterial and viral infections. When you get moving, your blood starts pumping and sends those immune cells throughout your body to take care of any infections.
Getting outdoors is also important for getting Vitamin D from the sun. There are very few foods that can give you vitamin D so the easiest way to absorb this important vitamin is from sunlight. Breathing in oxygen-rich outdoor air instead of that recirculating indoor air is also good for your lungs. The fresh air gives your lungs a chance to detox and you can take deep breaths without worrying about breathing in other people’s germs.
Exercise also helps fight winter depression brought on by being stuck indoors on cold, gray days. When you spend some time moving, the brain releases serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals that boost a feeling of well-being.
As always, exercise is good for your heart and general health. Being active may also help you avoid putting on those unwanted pounds in the winter. Here are six suggestions for winter exercise to get you started.
- Embrace the season: Put on your long underwear and boots and enjoy cross country skiing, skating, sledding, or even shoveling the snow. Make a snowman with the kids or try to make a few snow angels.
- Find an indoor path: Check out walking at indoor shopping malls like the The Whitehall of Deerfield Mile at Northbrook Court. This indoor route located on both floors of the mall has mile markers to help guide the walkers and will remain in place until the end of the year. The health benefits of brisk walking, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, include decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancers, type 2 diabetes and depression. Brisk walking can also improve sleep and weight loss — and can help older adults reduce their risk of falls and delay the onset of dementia. So, lace up your sneakers and head to the mall.
- Be your own exercise class: Try an indoor exercise routine by following a televised exercise show or playing an exercise CD. You can also come up with your own exercise routine like walking up the stairs, then along a hallway twice, back down the stairs, down the hallway and back up again. Simply walking around the dining room table for 10 minutes a few times a day can get your heart pumping.
- Dance away the winter: Check out dance studios for open dance nights or go to a local cocktail lounge with a dance floor and mix exercise and fun while waltzing, square dancing or swing dancing. An hour of ballroom dancing can burn 150 calories or more while swing dancing can burn 300 or more calories.
- Get an early start on spring cleaning: Tackle an indoor cleaning project like painting the guest room, cleaning out the basement or reorganizing the closet. The lifting, stretching and carrying is exercise that is beneficial for you and your home.
Regular exercise is important for maintaining health but it is also important for regaining health after a hospital stay or medical event. It can be challenging to start an exercise routine following surgery or illness. Not only is there pain and stiffness, there can also be a concern for safety. This is why many people wisely choose to recover in a short-term care rehabilitation center where there are experienced physical therapists available to safely guide them through a program of regaining strength and balance.
Whitehall of Deerfield has earned a reputation as the North Shore’s premier rehabilitation center. Whitehall of Deerfield has consistently received Medicare’s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and rehabilitation centers, as well as receiving U.S. News & World Report’s highest “Top Performing” rating, making it one of the best options for short-term care in the area.
When it comes to care, few can match Whitehall of Deerfield’s outstanding full range of therapies targeted to meet each guest’s individual needs. A clinical nurse liaison completes an assessment to discover areas that need attention. Then physical, occupational and speech therapists work one-on-one with guests seven days a week. There is also a respiratory therapist on staff who also works with guests one-on-one and helps manage care to avoid re-hospitalization. State-of-the-art rehabilitation gyms provide all the equipment needed to reach your highest level of independence and functioning. Care is consistent, compassionate and skilled at every level.
Extra attention is given to meals at Whitehall of Deerfield. Guests can choose to dine in their room or join others in beautiful dining rooms that feature full-length windows. The on-staff registered dietitian ensures that each dish is as nutritious as it is appetizing. There are also delicious extras like gourmet coffees, ice cream refreshments and fresh baked goods offered throughout the day.
Whitehall of Deerfield is filled with luxurious features and world-class amenities — from valet parking for visitors to a Wellness Spa for guests. To see all that is offered, arrange a tour by calling 847-945-4600. For more information, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com.