Health Matters: Stay Active, Stay Healthy

Winter weather can make working out a chore.

But doctors say being active can actually reduce your risk of getting sick.
I spoke with a nurse practitioner at Essentia and she tells me getting going is best when it comes to Old Man Winter because staying put can decrease your immune system.
The brisk winter cold is enough to keep many inside. But a walk a day will keep the doctors away.
“Going for a walk with your pet just thirty minutes a day is very beneficial,” says Essentia Nurse Practitioner, Hope Mathern.
But staying active doesn’t just have to be through a walk. With these regular cold temps, people across the Red River Valley have gotten creative.
“These are bikes with about four inch wide tires that really float on the snow easily that’s been very very popular both for commuting and recreational riding in the winter months,” says Great Northern Bicycle Company Manager, Tom Smith.
The fat bike has been around for the past seven years.

A perfect bike for winter and a perfect way to stay active.
“You know I commute back and forth to work every day so most of my miles are on road commuting but I really enjoy being able to ride down on the river when its frozen,” says Smith.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s biking, running, or the traditional winter sports.
“Enough to just raise your heart rate,” says Mathern.
But if there is no snow, biking might be the way to go.
“Maybe people who have been cross country skiing but there’s not as much snow as they would like, they can get out, they can get a great workout on the fat bike,” says Smith.
And what about when it comes to staying nourished?
“Diet can offer you the appropriate nutrients and vitamins to actually increase your immune system,” says Mathern.
She suggests eating more veggies and fruit and drinking plenty of water. From diet to exercise, it can be easy to overlook. But if staying healthy is what you want, you’ve heard the doc’s orders.

Mathern also says it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

She says the shot can increase your immune system, protect against the season’s four common viruses, and decrease your chance of getting sick from other illnesses.

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