Updated 01/06/2012 05:32 PM
Staying fit in the winter
The cold weather can get in the way of staying fit, but as YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, by following a few tips and taking care of your body, you can avoid the temptation to get sluggish when it's cold out.
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NEW YORK STATE -- We know the freezing and thawing of winter weather causes cracks and pot holes in the roads, but what does it do our bodies?
"Most people over the age of fifty will complain from time to time of different arthritic symptoms. Now weather does affect the symptoms," said Upstate Medical University Orthopedic Surgery Assistant Professor Dr. Robert Sherman.
That's one reason why many of us are sedentary during the winter. Even if you're not an arthritis sufferer, the cold weather can cause aches and pains.
"It's so important to stretch before you do a long strenuous activity. Try to warm up those joints, warm up those muscles so they're not stiff and they are stiffer in the winter," said Dr. Sherman.
It's the single most important tip Sherman tells his patients to follow before and after lacing up to brave the cold.
In Syracuse, winters are more than cold. They're usually marked by snow and ice, but experienced runners say that shouldn't stop you from putting in a couple of extra miles for exercise.
"Getting out and walking at a brisk pace is virtually as good for you depending upon your goals," said running expert and coach Dave Oja.
The exercise is just as beneficial for weight loss, cardiovascular fitness and stress reduction. Unlike running, you don't have to worry about getting overheated as quickly, so you can bundle up.
"You can put on your winter coat and you can put on your hat and scarf and your heaviest mittens and take some time to warm up," said Oja.
It doesn't matter how fast you're moving. As long as you're getting in the mileage, you're doing exactly what doctors recommend: Being active.