Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Even in the Cold, Stay Active and Happy

Research from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, part of the Department of Defense, reports that during the cold holidays, the last thing on your mind is probably exercise. But taking a vacation from fitness could hurt. According to the University, just one week without exercise increased fatigue in their 20 adult subjects. After a second week, they began showing symptoms of depression. They believe that one reason might be that at-rest heart rates increase without regular activity, and the mind senses that something is amiss. Participants in the best shape on the first day ended the study in the worst of moods. Lead author Ali A. Berlin says because their initial heart rats were so low, they experienced the greatest change in heart rate, and the biggest shock to their systems. He says that people can take breaks, but they should just switch to a lower-intensity routine. And if you have to stop due to an injury, he recommends staying upbeat with low-impact exercises such as stretching, physical therapy, or water workouts.

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