If you live in a part of the country where the temperatures drop and snow sticks around for about four to five months, daily exercise can be a challenge, particularly if you have an outdoor walking routine or you simply prefer the outdoors to indoors. Although millions of fitness minded folks move their exercise routine indoors for the winter, here are some tips for exercising outdoors:
Check the Forecast
Before you head out for a run, walk, or even a winter sport like cross country skiing or snowshoeing, it’s important to take a look at the forecast. Three crucial things to factor include the temperature, moisture, and wind. If, for instance, it’s around 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), the temperature is fairly agreeable for outdoor exercise, but add in moisture and/or wind and it can be difficult and even dangerous, increasing your risk of cold-weather related issues like frostbite or hypothermia. Pay attention to the weather app on your phone or listen to your weather forecaster. If he or she says it’s too dangerous to be outside, take the advice and workout indoors, where you can stay warm and dry.
Your comfort and safety, when exercising outdoors, relies heavily on the wearing appropriate layers. When you wear layers, you are insulating yourself against the elements and preventing getting too hot or too cold. When selecting your layers, the first one should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material that dries quickly and wicks away sweat. The second should consist of wool or polyester fleece and the final layer, which will be exposed to any type of element, should be water-repellent and lightweight. Your clothes should fit well, allowing you to move comfortably and with ease. Never forget a hat, as it helps your body retain essential heat and gloves and a scarf/neck gaiter can be easily removed as your body warms.
Size Up on Shoes
When selecting appropriate footwear, keep in mind that a heavier shoe/boot may make exercising more difficult and may even put you at risk for injury. If you choose to wear a shoe specific for exercise, make sure it has adequate support, good tread, and consider purchasing a pair that are slightly larger to make room for extra thick socks.
Know Your Limit
As you would (and should) with any exercise, whether indoors or outdoors, it’s important to know your limit. While it’s encouraged to challenge and push yourself, there’s a fine line between working hard and overworking oneself. Listen to your body and take a break when you need one. Don’t forget to hydrate, too. While you’re less likely to feel the need to drink water when the temperatures are cooler, proper hydration is always essential.
Your health and safety should always come first, so if that means you must move your workout indoors for a couple of weeks or even a month, be flexible and do it. If you don’t like the idea of going to the gym, consider taking a dance class with a friend, try out an indoor climbing wall, or even take a few laps around the mall.
Walking doesn’t get enough attention. In a world of high-energy, intense workout routines like Crossfit and extreme kayaking, the simple walk often gets left out of the spotlight. To too many people, walking is the Werther’s Original Candy of exercise: plain, unchallenging, and appealing to an unglamorous crowd.
Walking is a great exercise, though, and it has some benefits you’re unlikely to find in other places. Walkers understand that not all workouts have to be high-stress or high-impact. A walk is good for your body and mind. When you start walking, expect to see some of these changes in your life.
Walking will help you lose weight. If you get a brisk walk in for 40 minutes day, you’ll burn a significant amount of calories. Combined with healthy eating routine, walking can be one of the healthiest choices you make each week. And walking is easy. The low stress involved in a daily walk means that you can easily get into the habit. And it gets you off the couch.
Blood Sugar Control
For those of you who need to monitor your blood sugar closely, walking can be the perfect exercise. You’ll burn carbs at a reasonable pace, and—unlike with higher energy workouts—you won’t be in much danger of running your body into hypoglycemic levels (even if your blood sugar gets low, you’ll have to time to feel it coming and react). Of course, speak with your doctor ahead of time before beginning any exercise routine. People’s needs vary from person to person.
Walking helps you on the way to happiness and stability. When you walk, your brain increases production of chemicals associated with good feelings. Beyond chemistry, you’ll simply feel good when you get fresh air, focus on your surroundings, and get your heart rate up. Bonus points if you’re outside—walking in the outdoors, in the presence of trees, wildlife, and running water, imparts strong benefits on the brain.
Walking poses far fewer health risks than do other exercises. As long you stretch, wear good shoes, and pay attention to your body’s needs (and doctor’s orders), you’ll be at low risk for the problems associated with running, such as joint and bone strain, or higher tech exercise—even bicyclists need to watch out for car doors, debris in the roads, etc. As a walker, your likelihood of tripping over a surprise downed branch or struck by a vehicle is much lower than it would be if you were engaging in other exercises.
A Social Life
Walking has the potential to be a very social event. Social engagement is an integral part of your health, believe it or not, and your nightly walk can be an essential part of your social life. Walkers will tell you they have some of the best talks of their lives while out for strolls. Walkers tend to be thoughtful, introspective people with a lot to say. If you put together a walking group, you’ll develop important friendships. You might even strengthen your marriage if you and your spouse make a regular walk date.
If you’ve made the choice to live in a warmer climate, the summer months are probably some of your favorite months of the year. With beautiful weather and a brightly shining sun, it’s hard to stay cooped up inside. You can ditch the gym and instead revel in that fresh, natural air as you exercise. The problem though is the heat itself. If you live in an extremely warm climate, the heat can be almost unbearable. The last thing you want is to pass out from heat exhaustion. Check out these 10 tips for exercising safely in the heat of the summer.
This is (somewhat obviously) the number 1 important factor for exercising in the heat. Really, it’s the most important tip for safely exercising in any temperature. Body temperature increases even more when you exercise in hot weather, so it’s important to keep yourself cool by drinking water during and after your workout.
Try to Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
It’s best to make it out in the morning when the air is still cool, or go outside as the sun is setting or even later in the evening.
Give your body time to get acclimated to the heat. Don’t push yourself too hard to begin with. You might even start by exercising in the heat for just a few minutes at a time.
Go Easy on Yourself
Heat and humidity will wear you down much quicker than milder temperatures. Remember that even if you can’t do as much as you normally can, that’s completely typical of exercising in the heat. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Run on the Beach
Running barefoot, and especially through sand, can help reduce impact-related injuries. Plus, you’ll get that cool ocean breeze even when it’s sweltering outside. You’ll also have the perfect place to take a dip after you get done with your workout!
Eat Healthy Snacks throughout the Day
Keep your energy high by snacking on healthy goodies throughout the day. Juicy snacks like grapes, apples and oranges are a great way to keep you hydrated as well.
Wear Light Clothing
Imagine stepping barefoot onto dark asphalt in the heat of the day. How hot is it? Dark colors absorb heat, so you end up getting incredibly hot if you’re wearing dark clothing. Think about the material too. Try to wear wicking fabrics and avoid heavy cotton. The looser the clothing, the more air will be able to circulate across your body and the cooler you’ll be.
If it seems way too hot to even be outdoors, why not try an activity in the water? Swimming is an awesome way to really get a workout and not overheat. Any ocean, lake or pool will do!
Bring a Buddy
Heat exhaustion can happen quicker than you’d think. If you’re going to be exercising outdoors, it’s a good idea to bring a buddy along just in case.
Listen to Your Body
If you’re body is physically telling you to give it a rest, listen to it! Exercising in the heat can be far more challenging than in more moderate temperatures. Know when enough is enough. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night as well to let your body fully recharge.
According to the Washington Post, the average adult sits 8 hours a day and it’s not just out of pure laziness, many Americans are forced to sit due to their occupational field or sitting behind the wheel of their car. An hour commute, an 8 hour shift at work, a 2 hour binge watch at night, this may be your typical day, which means you are sitting far more than the average American adult. Not only can sitting all day become rather boring, but sitting can lead to health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and simply increase your mortality rate of any cause of death by 50%. Here are some tips for staying healthy and active in a world of sitting:
Adjust Your Desk and Chair
Millions of Americans sit at a desk and in front of a computer screen for 40 hours a week. The more you sit, the more you may notice little things like an achy back, a nagging headache, or even eye strain, which are often all related to your posture at your desk. Take a look around the office, how many colleagues are slouching, straining their eyes, or resting their feet on the legs of their rolling chair. This posture often occurs when we are concentrating or simply forget how we should be sitting.
A healthier (and proper) posture is to sit up straight rather than leaning forward, relax your shoulders, keep your arms close to your sides, keep elbows bent 90 degrees, and your feet flat on the floor. With a proper adjustment of your chair, you should be able to achieve this posture. Many people, who work in front of a computer all day, put their computer monitors on a stand (or elevate them some other way) so the head can look forward, rather than down. By simply changing your posturing, you are taking stress and pressure away from your spine, neck, and even vital organs. If you need to remind yourself to sit up straight, set an alarm on your computer or phone to “check your posture”. It may take you time to adjust, but you’ll notice improvements over time.
When you’re hard at work, answering emails, filing reports, and taking care of other important business, it’s easy to lose track of time. You check your clock and it’s already lunchtime (when you’ll leave your desk and continue to sit somewhere else). When you have a break, try to make the most of it. If you’re hungry, have a light snack, but then take the remaining time to walk around the office complex or even hit the outdoors. If you’re short on time, do a couple of laps up and down the steps (skipping the elevator whenever possible). If breaks are somewhat infrequent, set an alarm on your computer or phone and take a short lap around the cubicles. Take any chance you can get to move, even if that means grabbing a document from the printer or filling up your water bottle at the water cooler.
If you need a little boost of motivation to remind you to keep moving in a busy work day, download a self-monitoring app to your phone, such as an app that tracks your steps, and set a goal to hit that amount of steps each day.
When you have a busy work and home life, it’s difficult to find time to exercise, but make it a goal to move, stand, or stretch whenever you get a free moment whether you’re binge watching your favorite show or taking the subway home from a long day at the office. Your mind and body will thank you.
Diabetes does not have a cure. In spite of all the advancements made on treatment, the only way to beat diabetes is by managing it. This can be done through lifestyle and food choices. It is a commitment that has to be made to oneself. These lifestyle choices may mean becoming more active, quitting smoking, and taking prescribed medications as indicated, among other changes.
Managing Diabetes: Lifestyle
Diabetes can be controlled and there is treatment for it. There are a few things to help manage diabetes.
- Keep your blood sugar levels in check. Have an understanding on what to do to keep the levels as close to normalcy as you possibly can. Religiously take your medicine. Maintain a good balance of medication, food, exercise, and good sleep habits.
- Follow a meal plan. Adhere strictly to the diabetes eating plan as much as you can.
- Keep healthy snacks You’ll be less likely to snack on empty calories.
- Regular exercise.It helps you stay fit, burns calories, and helps get your blood glucose levels down.
- Medical appointments are a must.Schedule regular appointments with your dietician, family doctor, dentist, ophthalmologist, other professionals from your health care team. Your approach to your health should be holistic.
Optimal Foods for Those with Diabetes:
Oatmeal, although a carbohydrate, can aid in controlling your blood sugar. The high soluble fiber is slow to digest and keeps you feeling full for longer. The oats do not raise blood sugar as much as other carbohydrates may or as quickly.
Broccoli, Spinach, and Green Beans
Broccoli, spinach, and green beans, are non starchy vegetables that should definitely be added to any diabetic diet. They are low in carbohydrates as well as high in fiber, making them perfect for people with diabetes.
As strawberries are sweet, some diabetes patients tend to avoid them. A cup of strawberries is a healthy snack that won’t raise the blood sugar too high. Of course, strawberries are a much better option to cookies. They are high in fiber and water, but, low in calories and carbohydrates. You will feel fuller longer. Once you feel full longer, the fewer carbohydrates you’ll consume overall.
Salmon and Lean Meats
High protein meats do not contribute to blood sugar like carbohydrates. Fish, skinless chicken breast and lean cuts of meat in good proportions are good picks for diabetic meal plans. Salmon contains omega 3 and helps prevent heart attacks or strokes, which statistics show, 65% of diabetic patients die from. Chromium is a mineral a found in meat. It helps insulin function properly and aids the body in metabolizing carbohydrates.
If you are someone who likes sodas, go for the option of sparkling water. They come in many different flavors such as apple, pear, grapefruit, and tangerine. Quite a number of sparkling waters have no calories or carbohydrates. This is not just good for blood sugar, but also for losing or controlling weight as well.
There has been a lot of hype about cinnamon lately. It is said that it may contain qualities similar to those of insulin and aid in reducing blood sugar levels. After a recent study in Germany, it was observed that of two groups of type 2 diabetes patients, those that those who took the cinnamon extract, their blood sugar level was lowered by 10.3% as opposed to the other(placebo) group’s 3.4%. This brought them to the conclusion that there may be a moderate effect of cinnamon reducing blood sugar levels, most especially among those who had more trouble controlling blood sugar.
How do you manage your diabetes? Please leave your comments below: