Walking Helps Banish the Winter Blues
(NC)—Are the short days of winter bringing you down in the dumps? If you answered yes, this is all the more reason you need to get up and move your body. A 2006 study found that just one bout of exercise -- a brisk 30-minute walk -- immediately buoyed mood in depressed individuals.
For people with arthritis, walking puts less stress on your joints and is considered to be much better and safer than running. Walking allows you to stretch your back and leg muscles and joints that can become stiff from sitting. The Arthritis Society offers the following tips:
Avoid over-bundling. You should still feel a little cool when leaving the house. If you're too warmly bundled, you'll sweat profusely once you get moving, increasing the odds of feeling chilled.
Layer up. Several layers of clothing (and yes, socks!) insulate better than the thickest coat, and you can remove items when you get too hot. The inner-most layers should be material that wicks wetness away from skin, such as silk or synthetic fabric but not cotton. The outer-most layer should be wind and waterproof.
Choose fitted garments. A turtleneck prevents cold air from getting sucked down your shirt; baggy clothing does the opposite!
Cover your mouth. Dry winter air can trigger coughing and wheezing. A balaclava or scarf over your nose and mouth helps keep in moisture, making it easier to breathe in the cold air.