Winter weather not an excuse for lack of exercise

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Even though it is cold outside, students can and should still exercise. (Photo by Ari Davis)

Winter has arrived in Provo, bringing with it frigid temperatures and all the snow powder lovers could want. Though many students want nothing more than to stay inside for the next few months, the cold weather and gray days ahead should not interrupt the importance and priority of regular exercise.

The cold and dreary weather of winter often puts a damper on physical activities, but regular exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise decreases stress, improves mood, controls weight gain, boosts energy and improves life quality.

Natalie Dolbin, a finance major at BYU, has her own plan to stay fit during the winter months. Doblin uses Pinterest to get ideas on how to stay active in the winter.

“Pinterest is amazing,” Dolbin said. “Using Pinterest, my roommates and I found workouts that can be done in our rooms. Rain or snow, it doesn’t matter. We will all workout together.”

The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit world leader in medical care, explained that physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave people feeling happier and more relaxed. People may also feel better about their appearance when they exercise regularly, which can boost confidence and improve self-esteem.

Keith Keller, a javelin thrower for BYU’s track and field team, has come to understand the importance of exercise because working out year-round has allowed him to stay fit and healthy for his sport, as well as kept him focused on school work.

“Working out, it makes me feel healthy and makes me feel like I look better,” Keller said. “For me it is fun. I have done it so much now that it is just fun to do.”

Everyday Health, a leading online health provider, points out that exercise is especially important in winter months to help combat depression. Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a condition that affects millions of people every winter.

The healthiest way to avoid seasonal depression is to increase endorphins, which are released during regular exercise. Endorphins are important proteins that give the body a sense of well-being when set free while exercising.

Going to the free BYU gym or a local gym is a great option for staying fit in the winter. By doing so, students don’t have to work out in the cold and can still get exercise.

“Winter is the most important time to stay active,” said Eric Slaugh, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in American Fork. “Depression can come from a lack of sunlight, and people are always fighting sickness with the cold temperatures.”

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