Moving your body and other ways to stay healthy through the winter season

November 30, 2021

By Dana Kabbani, M.D.

Well, it’s here! The feeling of uncertainty of whether or not to put on a coat today, or if a sweater will do just fine. I say this because as the layers go on, we are likely to stay inside. And my motto is “keep your body moving.” So, how do we do that in the winter?

For some hardcore Michiganders, they will tell you to bundle up and walk. And if you can do that throughout the winter, that is wonderful. However, the majority of us will find that we will spend more time indoors, which means moving less and eating more. And with winter, comes the holidays. This is not Arbor Day, these are the type of holidays that you eat turkey, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato pie.

So now that the winter season is here, what can we do to keep our bodies active and healthy?

For those who still enjoy walks and want to get their steps in, and don’t have gym access or don’t like to go to the gym and prefer to walk (a heart-healthy exercise), find a local mall and do some mall walking. A girlfriend and I love to do this to get our steps in during the cold months.

The intuitive moving that occurs outdoors is less likely to happen. We lose a sense of how sedentary we are. For this, I recommend a basic step counter. You do not need a fancy tracker, a free step tracking app on your phone is just fine. It will let you know how much you are moving, and you will be shocked to learn how many steps you take in a day. Set a step goal that works for you and try to increase it daily.

Be conscious of what you are eating. You can enjoy food, but while at home, attempt to limit grazing. This is a habit where we find ourselves wandering and grabbing something from the pantry/fridge throughout the day, when we are not hungry. For some of those holiday snacks and tasty dishes, try to find some alternative recipes with certain replacements to avoid sugar and high fats. Believe me, the recipes are out there. And when you can’t avoid it, try to portion the amount you are eating.

With the pandemic, we saw an increase of free online exercise classes and phone applications. Utilize these to your advantage!

Be mindful to keep your body moving. Play some music while making your food and dancing. Not only will it keep your mood up, but it will also exert energy. I recommend the Chef Soundtrack on Spotify.

Make an appointment with a Wayne Health Provider.

Moving your body and other ways to stay healthy through the winter season
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