by Kafi Drexel
Yes, we know freshly fallen snow is pretty, but winter in the city or 'burbs (FYI: SoCal, Florida and other warm places, we know you can't relate) also makes us think of below-freezing wind chills, runny noses and getting out of work when it's pitch black outside. Which forces you indoors. And all that inside time can be a major downer. But we've got a few easy ways to fix a serious case of the end-of-year yucks, and hey, burn some bonus cals while you're at it.
"Exercising inside or out--even in the winter--is linked to a lessened index of depression," says Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine physician and author of the new book The Exercise Cure: A Doctor's All-Natural, No-Pill Prescription for Better Health and Longer Life. We love his doc's orders on how to slip in more movement this month:
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Sneak in walking. Do you take mass transit to work? If you've got the extra time in the AM, skip your stop (get off one or two early) and hoof it the rest of the way. Dr. Metzl says on average, the extra walk gives you an extra ten to 15 minutes a day of movement, which equates to burning at least about 50 more cals a day. Score! Commute by car? Park within walking distance of work to squeeze in some stride time. Your FuelBand will be like so excited about the extra steps. (Can't you just see it cheering for you now?)
Stretch your work day. Nope, we're not talking about overtime. Actually get up and stretch every 20 to 30 minutes. On top of waking you up and helping you beat the seasonal blues, Metzl says it's also a great way to deal with PMS.
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Find the stairs. Not only will your office-appointed fire marshal be impressed, hiking up just a flight can help rev your metabolism. And making it a mandate to stair-step it inside will make you that much more likely to hit the stairs outside, without giving it a second thought.