My recent series of blogs have been focused on the changing of the seasons from summer to fall and how that change is a signal to us to prepare for winter. I have pointed out that we need to be prepared for January and the potential impending flu season. In those blogs I noted that there are impediments to good health such as the physical stress of less daylight, increased sugar content with seasonal foods and goodies, as well as the emotional stresses of the holidays. These stresses can deplete our immune systems and leave us vulnerable to colds and the flu that always seems to spike the number of cases in January.
In addition to the dietary, proper rest, adequate hydration, and dressing for the weather steps we can take to help us through this difficult season, there are other steps that can be taken. The primary step I want to talk about today is the one that we all talk about but rarely find the way or the time to do it. I am talking about exercising.
If we find time to slip in even a half hour of exercise per day, think of the seasonal benefits of just that much work. The exercise can be scheduled and made an absolute priority that is unbreakable. That commitment alone can be carried forward into 2023 and will make you much better in your job, a better spouse, and a better parent. Regular exercising will help your control your weight and help you burn off some of those seasonal calories that still manage to find your beltline even though we are trying to watch.
Exercise has been proven to release certain chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals stimulate the “pleasure center” of the brain. That is the center of the brain that gets stimulated when you scroll through social media platforms or play video games on your phone that cost you countless hours! Exercise in this case turns out to be a positive double whammy because in addition to stimulating the “feel good” center of the brain and improving our attitude, it has a second important side effect. Exercise helps enhance our immune systems. Imagine that! We go exercise, burn off some of the foods we feel guilty about eating, maybe lose a pound or two, and increase our immune systems to help keep us from getting sick?!! How awesome is that??
There are many different ways to exercise. We could go to a gym. That has the advantage of taking us out of our regular environment and makes it more of an event to go do. The costs of many of these gyms have become more reasonable over the years. We could go and join the YMCA. This option is a little more expensive, but offers far more services, classes, and ways to exercise. A third option (my personal favorite) is to make use of what I have at home. I like the convenience of not having to go anywhere and I save a couple of bucks. I walk (actually, Weber Chiropractic has a “Walk Club” that meets on Saturday mornings in Ford City at 10 am that everyone is welcome to join) or I do stairs at home. Remember, doing squats, sit ups, and push-ups ups can be done anywhere.
The bottom line is that now is the “perfect” time to start your exercise routine. Find yourself an accountability partner and make it your “thing” to get together regularly and go exercise! Don't forget! Chiropractic manipulations are also a great way to stimulate and keep your immune system in peak operating condition. Give us a call today to schedule your checkup and to "winterize" your immune system.