Winter Fitness with Dr. Marc Fowler

Heart disease is an important topic because it's the leading cause of death in the United States. One way to prevent heart disease is multifactorial. What you can do on your own is to be healthy and exercise. Recommendations for exercise include trying to exercise five days a week 30 minutes at a time, which is 150 minutes per week. Anything is better than nothing.

There's a lot of different things that a person can do from walking, cross-country skiing, biking, going to the YMCA or one of the fitness clubs, starting out slow and increasing as you're able. I have a lotof patients that I ask them if they exercise and they say “well it's wintertime out I can't get out and exercise.” Well, unfortunately it's winter every year and you have to find something to be able to do to stay fit during the winter, whether it’s in your own home or getting outside and doing a little bit.

You know if you do go outside, you of course need to focus a little bit more on safety. Don't forget about the sun. The sun reflects off of the snow soyou may want to consider sunscreen. If you’re exercising in the winter often times it's dark either in the morning or even later be sure that youhave reflective clothing. Another good idea would be carrying a flashlight or headlamp.

Personally in the winter, I tended to spend more time lifting weights. I know a lot of people like to ride their bikes and now with the fat tire bikes, that's an easier thing to do in the winter. Tioga Trails is a popular place for bicycle riding and obviously a good way to stay fit in the winter.

Exercising just makes you feel better. It helps you have a better sense of well-being. It makes you feel stronger, more vital and you probably sleep better. It helps with stress and probably gives you a better mood throughout the day. And of course it brings all the other health benefits that we've mentioned including improving your heart health.