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  • Writer's pictureMonica Joyce

Find time for intentional movement during the winter and holiday months

Dreading the holiday and the possibility of being cooped up for weeks - maybe months? Are you worried about maintaining your weight? In the months to come, Covid-19 restrictions and winter can be a bad mix for many of us.

Holly Wyatt, M.D. at the U. of Alabama Birmingham has some advice.Dr. Wyatt says the emphasis should be on physical activity because it is the driver for long-term success of weight loss. When we drop weight we drop our energy expenditure and so physical activity can offset that. She also states that the amount of activity we need to maintain may be higher than what we need to lose weight. As much as 60 minutes or more of moderate-intensity exercise or 35 minutes of vigorous activity per day is needed. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends between 200 to 300 minutes of moderate activity per week.

“With about 150 minutes you get health benefits, but 300 minutes a week is really the volume that we think you need to be able to maintain weight loss, states Wyatt.”

With less access to gyms or outdoors when weather is bad, it’s important to get creative with your environment. Look around the house, yard, and neighborhood. Walking in place, taking the stairs repeatedly, dancing, and moving while talking on the phone all add up. Anything is better than sitting. So if we think about exercise as moving throughout the day, it may be easier to make that goal of 10,000 steps. Who knows; it might even be fun!

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