Staying Well In Winter

Simon and Garfunkel [and later, The Bangles] had it right. Winter light is hazy - it's more diffuse. The sun is lower in the sky and the sun's rays reach the Earth at an angle, losing much of their power. And of course, there's less sunlight during each 24-hour day of winter than during the rest of the year.

All these facts make it more important during winter to ensure you're getting your daily dose of sunlight. Humans depend on sun exposure to satisfy daily requirements of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is classically associated with loss of bone mass, and is also associated with rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 1 diabetes.

Humans need sunshine. It's not just a matter of aesthetics or a personality quirk like being a sun-worshipper. In Southern California and the rest of the Southwest there's plenty of sunshine all year round. Everywhere else in the United States, though, direct sunlight is much harder to find.

Humans also need exercise. And, as time is a precious commodity for all of us, it makes sense during winter to exercise and get your daily dose of sunlight at the same time.

Doing aerobic exercise outdoors perfectly fulfills our requirements. Walking, running, and cycling get us out into the fresh air and sunshine. If you're used to riding a stationary bike or walking or running on a treadmill at home or at the gym, winter is the time to take it outside.

Your bones will benefit greatly by increased contact with direct sunlight. And, interestingly, your entire body will benefit from your new outdoors focus. Machines such as treadmills and stationary bikes are great - they make it easy to exercise. But there's a big difference in terms of overall benefit when you're actually riding a real bike up a real hill or running on a real surface that changes configuration on almost every step.

The difference relates to proprioception - your body's response to physical changes in three-dimensional space. Bottom line - the more overall use you make of your body, the more you'll benefit. Exercising outdoors provides whole-body training in ways machines never can.

The need to actively seek out sunshine during winter creates a wonderful opportunity to broaden our exercise horizons. Make sure to dress appropriately and to wear UV-protecting sunglasses.

Many affordable brands of high-performance sportswear are available that wick moisture away from your skin and provide good insulation. Layering is the way to go. You can remove layers as you get warmer. Wicking-and-insulating caps and gloves are also available. It's better to be a little too warm than a little too cold.

Be sure to consult with your chiropractor about the most effective forms of exercise for you. She will be able to help you design a customized exercise program that works for you.

1Holick MF: Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 80(6):1678S-1688S, 2004
2Mohr SB, et al:The association between ultraviolet B irradiance, vitamin D status and incidence rates of type 1 diabetes in 51 regions worldwide. Diabetologia 51(8):1391-1398, 2008
3Buccello-Stout RR, et al: Effects of sensorimotor adaptation training on functional mobility in older adults. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 63(5):P295-300, 2008

Signup or Call Now to Schedule Your Free Consultation at Either Location

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Both Office Schedule Hours

Monday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 AM-6:00PM

Wednesday:

9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Thursday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 AM-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Locations

Find us on the map

Here’s what some of my patients have to say :

  • "I began chiropractic care with Dr. Sue a year ago because of an auto accident. After a few chiropractic adjustments, education, and proper exercise, I have noticed a huge difference in my attitude and how I feel. I have adopted chiropractic care into my wellness program."
    Maya
  • "I met Dr. Sue at a point in time when my 61-year old body needed immediate healthcare if I were to keep up with my daily 3 mile walk, 3 days of half-hour aerobics, and 3 dance clubs (Western, Ballroom, and Line). Her expertise at finding my many problems with the neck, shoulders, arms, and legs – and then physically nurturing these areas to ease my discomfort is phenomenal! God bless Dr. Sue for all the good she does for patients like me."
    Anne
  • "I have been going to LeBlanc Chiropractic for five years. Throughout my life I have had trouble with pain in my hip from early years of youth football. Since my adjustments with Dr. Sue, I have had no pain in my hip. Also, my treatments have increased my benchpress and my ability to jog. I am pleased to say I have been well taken care of."
    Emile
  • "Dr. Sue has helped me so much over the past year. Her Wellness Program is great, allowing me routine adjustments which keep me feeling strong and healthy. She is a super person and I look forward to seeing her each visit."
    Polly
  • Yoda and Yoga

    In the film classic "The Empire Strikes Back," the iconic Jedi master Yoda inscrutably refers to "the Force" during training sessions with his disciple, Luke Skywalker. Yoda informs Luke that he "must feel the Force around you." Yoda himself is frequently seen assuming what may only be described as intergalactic ...

    Read More
  • Hip and Knee Security

    Everyone knows someone who has undergone hip or knee replacement. These surgeries are no longer exclusively performed on older persons and are now not uncommon procedures for many patients with persistent, significant hip or knee pain. Problems that lead people to be willing to undergo joint replacement ...

    Read More
  • Making the Grade

    The recent school year has long been over, but the echoes of learning, striving, and achieving persist. We may, if we choose, apply these remembrances of ourselves when we were in school to the circumstances of our health and well-being. We all want good health for ourselves and the members of our families, ...

    Read More
  • The Sounds of Summer

    The variegated songs of the mockingbird. The crack of the bat on the baseball diamond. The screaming of little children at play in the community pool. Wherever we turn, the sounds of summer surround us in a joyful uplifting cacophony. Summertime may mean barbecue and it may mean the beach, but it also ...

    Read More
  • Double Indemnity

    In the classic 1944 film noir, "Double Indemnity", insurance salesman Walter Neff (played by Fred MacMurray), gets into some pretty hot water involving his client (Barbara Stanwyck) and his co-worker (Edward G. Robinson). Neff tries to misuse the concept of double indemnity and he pays a heavy price. ...

    Read More
  • Health Statistics and You

    We are awash in numbers, thanks in large part to the proliferation of personal mobile devices and the wrong-headed use of so-called big data.1 But applying statistical tools to the same set of data can support competing theories and lead to contradictory results. Such conflicting outcomes, known as antinomies ...

    Read More
  • Helping Your Chiropractor Help You

    Your chiropractor has many powerful tools at his or her disposal to help you get well. These powerful tools include chiropractic care itself and specialized knowledge in nutrition, exercise, and rehabilitation. There are some things that you, too, can bring to the chiropractor-patient relationship in ...

    Read More
  • Meditation and Me

    For many of us, the practice of meditation seems like a totally foreign notion. In an era of full-time, morning-to-night distractions and distractibility, the concept of quietly sitting with nothing else to do seems impossibly ridiculous. Why would anyone do that, we ask, as we text message with one ...

    Read More
  • New Beginnings

    The time is always right to begin returning to good health. Regardless of whether your issues involve weight, exercise, diet, blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic pain, now is the time to begin taking action on your own behalf. You are not alone. Literally hundreds of millions of people worldwide have ...

    Read More
  • Remember to Schedule Your Spinal Screening

    Most of us have undergone some type of screening exam in the last several years. Depending on your age, personal history, and family history, you may have needed to go for a periodic mammography, colonoscopy, or cardiac stress test. If everything was fine, you have probably been instructed to follow-up ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign Up to Receive More Articles