(NC) When it gets cold outside, our natural
instinct is to stay indoors, but physical activity is a great way to
keep off the weight gain that comes naturally at this time of year and
banish the blues that can come with the shorter days.
“Like most creatures, our bodies are designed to cope with the cold
of winter by staying inside and packing on the calories to keep
ourselves warm,” says Dr. Kevin Velicaria, M.D. family medicine. “Couple
that with any recent holiday over-indulgences and you have a recipe for
weight gain that’s hard to get rid of come spring.
Fortunately, staying active helps regulate the amount of calories
that you take in during the winter and has the added benefit of boosting
your mental health by fighting off the winter blahs. Velicaria adds
that going outside also exposes our bodies to the sun for some
much-needed vitamin D.
Another advantage comes from the cold-and-flu fighting benefits that
exercise offers. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts our
immune systems, helping our bodies fight off any germs we’re exposed to
at this time of year.
Still, Velicaria cautions us to pace ourselves. In a rush to
accomplish new year’s resolutions, he’s seen many gyms across the nation
fill up with people who try to do too much, too quickly and wind up
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