BY WENDY M. HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
As the nights grow colder, and the days grow shorter, our brain signals our body to put on some winter fat. It is part of our animalistic nature. Have you ever watched the animals get ready for winter? We are no different. How do we combat the winter fat so it does not get the better of us? Exercise, of course. Exercise not only controls fat deposition, but has the added benefit of making you healthier as well. Fall is a perfect time to revamp your fitness regime. Whether you like to exercise inside or outside, these tips will help to keep your fitness on track as we move into the holidays.
1. Go for a walk – Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. You can go for a 20-30 minute walk over your lunch hour or after supper. Not only will this get you connected with the beauty of fall in the Northwoods, but you will enjoy the cardiovascular benefit as well.
2. Lift weights – Weight training builds lean body mass or muscles. Muscles burn more calories at rest. The more lean body mass or muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout your day even when you’re not exercising. If I am strapped for time in my workout, I will always lift weights and omit the cardio as it keeps my inner furnace burning long after the workout. Make it your goal to do a total body weight training workout three or four days weekly.
3. Minutes of exercise: Are you strapped for time? Do minutes of exercise. Pick three to five exercises and do each one for a minute. For example: chair squat; pushup; split squat or lunge; jumping jacks; planks; side planks, burpees; glute bridge; plie or sumo squats to name a few options. Do each of your chosen exercises for one minute, moving to the next exercise without resting. When you have completed the three-plus minutes you can stop or go through them again. This can be as much as a 30-minute workout or as little as three minutes. I do this at the office to get my energy up and it takes very little time. This is also great when you travel as you need no equipment.
4. Register for an event – Sign up for a 5K or 10K; a duathlon; or a fall cycling ride. Signing up for something creates a goal for you and gets you training for the event. Remember the SMART goal system from an earlier article – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding and Time Bounded. An event is a perfect SMART goal.
5. Register for a class – Try a new class at your health club or purchase a new workout video series. The idea is to try something new which will ignite your desires to exercise.
6. Hire a personal trainer – A personal trainer can help you try something new and push you beyond your comfort zone. They will also help you set fitness goals. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to freshen up your fitness regime.
It doesn’t really matter what form of exercise you choose as long as you get or keep moving. Exercise will improve your overall fitness level, but is also great for our mental health. Exercise also reduces stress and the stress hormone Cortisol. Remember that Cortisol causes fat deposition among other things that wreak havoc in your body. Work towards 30 minutes of exercise five to six days a week or 150 minutes. Your body and mind will thank you.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.