Time to go outside

Nothing motivates people to start getting in shape is the thought of having to show more skin.

By DICK NUNEZ

Special to the Dunn County Herald

Posted May 31, 2013

Unfortunately, if you have done nothing about it up to this point….it is too late! You are not going to magically drop 20-pounds of fat in the next 10-days despite what advertisements might say. However, even if you do not have your “beach body” in grade A form, there are still plenty of good reasons to get outside.

Sunshine: In this part of the country, getting out in the sun is NOT a year round activity. It is time to take advantage of it. Much of our country is vitamin D deficient, and it is worse in our hemisphere. The body will convert cholesterol into vitamin D (a very good thing) when exposed to sunlight. Fortunately, our body stores vitamin D, but unless we really load up at this time of year, our reserves will not get us through the long, long cold winter. Sunshine alters our mood (for the good), which will help balance out the “winter blues”. Obviously, those prone to skin cancer need to take precaution; or better yet, start eating a healthy diet and reduce the amount of free fatty acid radicals running around the body and increase the antioxidants, which are found abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fresh air: Another seasonal activity in the northern hemisphere. There are people in the Dakotas that rarely get outside during the winter. This keeps them inside breathing recycled air. Fresh air is another key to good health…and it’s free! We are blessed to live in an area where the air is clean and we can actually see the stars on clear nights. Not everyone has that luxury. One of the best times to get outside is right after a thunderstorm. The air is full of negative ions. The body craves negative ions, so taking in deep breaths right after a storm will super-charge the cells. Note to the unwise: Wait until the storm is over!

Variety: Running a fitness business, we love our clients, and we want you to continue. The resistance training needs to be kept up to keep the muscles healthy and strong. But cardio training should take on a new form. It is time to get off the treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes, and get outside. There will be plenty of time to ride them during the cold weather, and they will be waiting for you. Getting outside will also help you take care of the first 2 points. Walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming are all excellent ways to get your workout outdoors (sorry, golf does not count for the cardio!). Gardening is also an excellent way to stay fit while giving you healthy food to eat.

Social: When we are cooped up indoors, we do not see a large variety of people other than those we see on a regular basis. Getting outside and taking a walk might lead you to bumping into someone you have not seen in a while. Social interaction is good for our mental health, and you just might find yourself rekindling a friendship that has dwindled over time.

Hopefully these are enough reasons to get out of the easy chair and out the door. If not, your long cold winter just got a little longer.

Editor’s note: Dick Nunez and his wife, Lisa, are the owners of Fit-In-15 in Bowman. He has 34 years experience as a professional trainer and has trained Olympic, college and pro athletes, including world heavyweight boxing champion Pinklon Thomas.

 


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