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Oct. 1, 2011 – Lisa Cachia

While the weather may be frightening during these winter months, does that mean we should form a lump on the couch and settle in until the spring thaw?

Nay I say!

Now is the time to shift focus from playing to staying on top of your game for next season. Of course, maintaining or advancing health and fitness will mean different things to different people.

The greatest challenge for most of us through the winter is continuing to move. We know that performing cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming 30 minutes or more (plus a bit of stretching) on most days has many health benefits.

These benefits include but are not nearly limited to weight management, stress management, continued mobility, blood sugar and cholesterol management.

Obviously, any outdoor cardiovascular training is much more accessible during warmer times of year. So how do we get it done in the rain and snow?

If it seems that your butt has found the perfect place on the couch or in your favorite chair may I suggest you get up! Join a gym!

Exercise facilities have lots of equipment for cardiovascular and strength training. Most will also offer a free orientation to new members or have personal trainers available for hire.

Some places will even have a heated pool for swimming or water exercise classes; which are great for anyone at any fitness level. There are also lots of different land-based classes that may actually be fun to try. You just have to get in there!

When you are at the gym surrounded by other people working out, it somehow becomes a lot easier to find your own motivation. And after a while you may even find camaraderie with other members a.k.a. friends.

If going to the gym is seriously not for you, then invest in a good quality piece of cardiovascular training equipment like a treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer or rowing machine for your home. I say invest because better quality equipment does come at some expense, but I believe your health and wellbeing are priceless.

Create a comfortable space in your place and use the machine. You may end up getting more activity overall than before you made the investment.

If you sustained an injury during the past season, now may be the time for some serious rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy or if absolutely necessary surgery followed by therapy. Injuries take time to heal and unfortunately as we age that time line grows longer.

If youíve been nursing aches and pains that have become chronic, please seek advice from your physician. If youíve already been diagnosed but have been reluctant to follow up, donít hesitate. Take action to heal your body now so that by the time spring training starts you feel better and are ready to go out and play.

As always please get regular medical check ups and consult your physician before beginning any exercise program including a home-based plan.

Please feel free to send any questions or comments to me at Keep moving people!

Enjoy the winter break and I will catch up to you in the spring!

Lisa Cachia is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer/ Group Exercise Instructor and owner of Benefitness Personal Training. Contact Lisa at

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