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Live Healthy, Atlanta! Thought Leader

Exercise over the holidays

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

November (September for some eager retailers) kicks off the holiday season. Weeks and weeks of indulging with family and friends means extra calories coupled with more relaxing. Studies once claimed that on average, most people gained five to seven pounds. The news isn’t that bad! In 2007, a new study revealed that the average weight gain was about one pound; however, people were unlikely to lose the weight they gained.

So, how can we set about maintaining our weight over the holidays? The temptation of finger foods, sweets from well-meaning relatives, rich dinners, and alcohol usually prove too difficult to resist. It’s cold outside, but don’t let the cool temperature discourage you from exercise! Here are a few winter-weather tips while you’re out working off Thanksgiving and Christmas calories.

  • Layer your clothes. Your first impression walking out the door may have you running back inside for an extra coat, but resist. Think of the chill as extra motivation to get moving! For your first layer, avoid cotton fabric. As you sweat, cotton will get wet and cling to your skin. Remember that thin people need more layers than larger people, and insulate yourself accordingly.
  • Consider a scarf or face covering if the weather is extra chilly. You’ll protect your nose and face from damage in the cold, and it will warm the air before it enters your lungs. There are some studies to suggest that breathing in cold air makes you burn a few extra calories. That’s true, but the amount is negligible. I’d rather have a warm nose!
  • Remember your extremities. When we get cold, our bodies shift focus to our core. Hands and feet get left out in the cold – literally. To avoid frostbite, make sure you’re properly wrapped up. Wear gloves, and invest in a pair of thick socks. Atlantans probably won’t need to go this far, but if you trek up north you may want to buy shoes a half-size too large so you can wear an extra layer of socks. Finally, don’t forget about your ears!
  • Wear sunscreen. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the sun has stopped shining.
  • Exercise inside when the weather demands it. A summer run in the rain is exhilarating; a winter run in the rain could make you sick. If you get soaked, you’ll most likely get sick from the cold. Wind chill can cut through your layers and leave you without the warm air that surrounds your body.

No matter the weather, do exercise! You’ll enjoy the holiday season a lot more if you’re enjoying it healthfully.


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