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Protect Achy Joints with Indoor Activity During Winter

Protect Achy Joints with Indoor Activity During Winter

Ask anyone with achy, arthritic joints what they do on icy, short days and the answer is, "Stay inside and stay warm." But please add a third "stay" to that list: stay inside, stay warm and stay active. Fit in your exercise at home.

Research shows that as soon as the days turn shorter, people with arthritis spend an additional three hours indoors. Doing what? Sitting around. It's less about the weather and more about running out of daylight.

Oops.

When you don't move, your joints get stiffer, even if you don't have arthritis. Activity keeps them flexible and strengthens your muscles, which act as support systems for joints. Sitting is as risky as trans fats, icy sidewalks and cruise-ship buffets. Hours of sitting messes up your blood sugar and blood pressure. Plus, it ups your odds of breast and colon cancer. Yep, sitting around is that lethal.

Here's what to do:

  1. Spring for an exercise bike. Put it smack in front of the TV.
  2. Buy a pedometer and use your home as a walking path. Go ahead: aim to do 10,000 steps a day indoors by New Year's!
  3. Pace while you listen to a book on tape or make mental to-do lists.
  4. Have a summer walking buddy? Call each other, then walk and talk indoors.
  5. Borrow or buy an interactive video set. Bowl, play golf, tennis or baseball in your den.
  6. Order walk-at-home guru Leslie Sansone's Walk This Way DVD. It's a total workout! To get started today, try this snazzy walking video with Leslie.

On mild winter days, head outdoors for a walk whenever you can. Here's why.

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