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Los Angeles Longevity & Functional Medicine Doctor

Dr. Allan Kurtz

Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellowship in Functional Medicine

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Health Tips Blog


Exercising in the Winter Months: Why It is Necessary in Order to Prevent Illness and Maintain Physical and Even Emotional Health

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on January 28, 2016, 8:57 am


Exercising is essential for keeping our bodies healthy. Here in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, we have the luxury of extraordinary weather mostly year-round.  However, even we aren’t immune to the reduced daylight hours, colder temperatures and rainy days, that can make us want to skip our exercise routines.  However, during the winter months it is actually more important than ever to keep up with healthy exercise habits, in order to keep your immune system strong, and to prevent against emotional stressors such as depression which many people are very prone to during the winter. 
 
In order to make it through the rainy, cold, and dark winter months we often have in greater Los Angeles, below are some tips to keep you on target with maintaining optimal wellness as part of your overall longevity plan.
 
Winter Exercise Tips:
 
Change the Frequency
  • Running in the rain 6 days a week may not seem appealing—particularly if El Nino produces the type of rain we’re already beginning to see and are poised to see more of in Winter 2016—so you may consider 4 days of slightly longer runs, in order to stay fit, even when the weather is unfavorable.
 
Plan an Exercise Date
  • Exercising with a friend can be really motivating and help with accountability especially when you’re resistant, or reluctant to go outside in the Los Angeles winter weather. Schedule regular exercise dates with a good friend, and hold one another accountable to your health and longevity, even in the Southern California rain.
 
Try an Indoor Routine
  • Consider breaking out the exercise bike or treadmill you’re storing in the garage and move it to a more inspiring space.
  • Take yoga, Pilates, kickboxing or spinning classes at a local gym or studio. There are countless yoga studios, Pilates studios, gyms, and even dance studios throughout the San Fernando Valley where you can get great cardio exercise in a warm, cozy environment.
  • Find an indoor pool for some swimming cardio.
 
Warm Up Indoors
  • Stretching, doing jumping jacks and running in place before you step outside can raise your body temperature, getting you warm right from the start, limiting the time you have to be outside in the cold and or rain we’re getting in Los Angeles this winter.
 
Wear Layers
  • Layer clothing according to the weather and peel off as your body temperature rises, when you’re exercising outside in cold or rainy weather.
  • Dress for the weather you’re exercising in. If it’s raining, wear clothes that are water resistant and fitting, wear shoes that have good traction and keep hair tied back away from your face.
 
Things to Remember:
 
  • Stay hydrated – It’s true, our bodies sweat, even in the cold.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Eating seasonal fruits and veggies can give your body the energy it needs to exercise and can also keep dollars in your pocket. Seasonal food is often less expensive, more accessible, typically locally sourced and has less preservatives than food that is out of season.
  • Keep taking your vitamins – vitamins, like Vitamin D, replenish what we’ve lost or are lacking from our diets as well as what we’re missing from the sun, when it goes into hibernation in Southern California in the winter.
  • Prevention is the key to staying healthy! Functional medicine focuses on keeping our bodies healthy, building a strong immune system, so that the body can fight off illness before it occurs.   Exercise is an excellent preventative measure for keeping your immune system strong, and your spirits high during the sometimes gloomy Los Angles winters.
 
If you’re interested in creating an optimal health and longevity game plan to get you through the winter season, Dr. Kurtz at the California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine in Woodland Hills, can help you get started. Fellowship trained in both Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine.
 
To schedule a consultation, please contact us at 818-346-1440 or visit us at http://californiacenteroflongevitymedicine.com/.