Tag Archives: exercise

5 Reasons to Consider Nighttime Workouts

There is nothing wrong with a hearty a.m. workout routine if you’re a born morning person, but what about those of us who’d rather fall in a nice, deep hole than get up extra early for a pre-workday run? If you aren’t a morning person, fear no more. The theory that it is better to workout in the morning has recently been debunked, apparently both morning and nighttime workouts have their respective benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the pros to sweating it with the moon instead of the sun:

  1. Your metabolism is better prepared for the ridestudies have found increased endocrine levels and lower blood glucose levels in subjects who exercised later in the day than in the morning, meaning their metabolisms were working more in their favor for the workout. This can make a difference in the long run for those on a weight loss journey.
  2. It makes for a good de-stress after a long day – Wouldn’t it be great to have a productive outlet for the stresses that build up during a day at the office? Well, look no further than a nightly exercise routine to help you shake off the tension of the day while also working on enhancing your bod. So, hit the treadmill, gym or dance studio for an evening fitness session and just watch as your stress rolls off your back (along with the sweat).
  3. You may be more alert and ready to rumble – as you go about the day, you’re gaining nutrients from your meals and most likely picking up more steam than you had in the morning. Because of this, you may be more ready to really hit that workout harder.
  4. It may help you catch some zzz’s – Recent studies refute the theory that nighttime workouts may hinder sleep (unless you’re an insomniac). It appears that generally, working out a couple hours before bed won’t make a difference to your sleep. Doing activities like yoga may actually help induce a deeper, more satisfying sleep.
  5. You’ll have more sleep time in the morning – Few can argue that a major pro to getting your workout done in the evening is that you’re saving yourself precious morning moments for more sleep. If you’re someone who dreads having too many items on your a.m. to-do list, why not cross off working out by saving it for later?

Regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy overall lifestyle and lower disease risks. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when you workout as long as you do. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity a week. Thanks for visiting DocChat!



Tips for Managing Asthma in Winter

Winter can be a tumultuous time for asthmatics. Between the cold air, Christmas trees and backed-up dust, many asthmatics experience a noticeable spike in symptoms this time of year. So, what can be done?

Have Your Puffer Handy

This one sounds obvious, but many moderate-to-severe asthmatics let themselves become a little forgetful sometimes about medications and that is not ideal. Asthma can be a life-threatening condition, claiming over 4,000 American lives annually, so the condition is not one to trifle with. Just the same as an anaphylactic person would always carry their EpiPen, an asthmatic should never go anywhere without their puffer. A good rule of thumb is to put a rescue inhaler in each purse or bag you use regularly, another in your car, as well as having a few around the house.

Avoid Sub-Zero Workouts

The cold, dry air of winter can wreak havoc on hypersensitive lungs. Cold air acts as a trigger for asthma or COPD by causing the airways to narrow (bronchial constriction), which makes it much more difficult to breathe. Exercising outdoors in cold temperatures increases this risk twofold by adding the already-present dangers of physical exertion on asthmatic lungs to the constriction caused by the cold. It is not a good idea for asthmatics to exercise in cold weather, but if you must, wear a scarf over your face and take your puffer beforehand (and take it along with you while you exercise, in case of an attack).

Avoid Winter Triggers

It goes without saying that you’ll have an easier season if you do your best to avoid triggers that usually cause attacks for you. While summer poses more dangers for many asthmatics such as pollen and humidity, winter carries its own respiratory risks. Aside from cold air, some common winter asthmatic triggers include:

  • Wood burning stoves – Not all asthmatics react to smoke, but many do. Wood smoke is thick and can be a major trigger for an asthmatic enclosed in a home with a wood-burning stove going.
  • Christmas trees – it usually isn’t the tree itself that causes any problems, but the types of mold growing on them. Mold is a common trigger for those with asthma or allergies.
  • Forced air heating – forced air heating can cause problems for asthmatics because it can create issues with mold as well as constantly stir up dust mites.

Rework Your Management Plan

Sometimes attempting to avoid potential triggers isn’t enough to keep your asthma under control in the winter. If you are finding more wheeziness, coughing or chest tightness than usual, talk to your doctor (or one of ours!) today to look at readjusting your asthma management plan for the season.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay happy and healthy.

9 Reasons to Walk Every Day

We all know regular exercise is essential to a healthy body, but you don’t have to rush for a gym membership or buy an expensive machine; a simple daily walk will do wonders for your body and mind. If you make a point of taking a brisk walk every day, you may reap the following health benefits:

  1. Lower your risk of disease – the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week to help avoid obesity and reduce your risks of developing such health conditions as heart disease, type 2 diabetes. A daily 30-45 minute walk would put you well on your way to a more optimistic health forecast.
  2. Promote a healthy heart – During a brisk walk, your heart becomes more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrients around the body. Regular walking can also help lower high cholesterol and blood pressure.
  3. Strengthen your body – regular exercise can help strengthen your bones and muscles, helping slow or help prevent osteoporosis.
  4. Stave off stress (and the blues) – Having a particularly stressful or sad day? Try taking a walk around the block. It will help get those endorphins flowing, naturally lowering your stress levels, energizing your mind and body, as well as boosting your blue mood.
  5. Condition your lungs – Routine exercise can help increase your lung capacity. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time or have a lung condition, you should start off slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your walk, in turn you will be increasing your lung capacity as well.
  6. Improve your self esteem – Once you get walking regularly and see some of the benefits take shape, a boost in your self esteem won’t be far behind.
  7. Trim your waistline – You can burn over 150 calories in one 30-minute walk. To burn a nice 300 a day, simply go for a longer trot, or break it into 2 walks daily. A few weeks into your walking routine you should see those inches start to drop off, providing that you are also maintaining a healthy diet as well.
  8. Get some you time or friend time ­– For those of you who are introverts, time to yourself can be a valuable (and sometimes scarce) commodity. Why not take a solitary stroll to recharge your batteries? If you are an extrovert on the other hand, why not call your best exercise buddy and go for a little social time while you exercise!
  9. Vitamin D – if you are taking your walks outside, you get the added benefit of working toward your recommended daily vitamin D quota – just be sure to put on sunscreen first!

We hope you start your new daily walking routine soon to start realizing these benefits! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

Tips for Exercising Safely in Winter

Winter can be a beautiful and refreshing season to pursue outdoors exercise and activity, but can also be the most treacherous time to do so if you don’t take the proper precautions. Let’s take a look at some essential safety tips for winter fitness:

  • Listen to your body – if you are feeling uncomfortable or out of the ordinary in any way while exercising outdoors, stop and head back inside to see what may be going on. You could be dehydrated, sick or even on your way to frostbite or hypothermia. You know your body best, so listen to its signals.
  • Avoid extreme cold – it is better not to exercise in extreme temperatures as the body has a difficult time adapting to the conditions and can more easily overheat, under-heat or overexert which can result in health problems such as fainting or even heart or respiratory issues, so avoid outdoor activity in extreme cold.
  • Try to avoid getting stuck in the dark – It starts getting dark much earlier during the winter months, so be sure to time your exercise so you catch the daylight. The last thing you want is to be stuck on some backwoods road on snowshoes surrounded by darkness (and who knows what else).
  • Practice extra caution if you have a heart or lung condition – The cold air can constrict the airways which is bad news for those with asthma or COPD, plus exertion can also bring on an asthma attack, so that could be a double whammy. Similarly, those with heart conditions should beware that the cold puts even more strain on your system than just regular exercise and tends to increase blood pressure.
  • Always take your phone or a buddy – In case you slip on the ice while walking, get lost or need assistance for any other reason, it is a good idea to take your phone with you whenever you exercise outdoors so you can call for help if needed. Exercising with a buddy is also a good plan in case of trouble.
  • Don’t venture away from the path – It is smart to map out your exercise route beforehand and to try not to veer off your predetermined course. More can go wrong in cold winter conditions, so don’t take any chances just for adventure’s sake.
  • Warm up and cool down properly – When exercising in cold or hot climates it is more important than ever to properly warm up and cool down to give your body time to acclimatize in the extreme conditions.
  • Invest in ice-gripping shoe tracks ­– A bad fall could cause heavy bruising, broken bones or a coma or death if you hit your head. Who wants to take that chance? Luckily, you can invest in ice-gripping tracks to go on your winter footwear to help prevent falls.
  • Wear layers – it is important to dress appropriately for the cold. Not only should you layer up (so you can take a layer off if you work up a sweat), but you should also make sure you wear mittens or gloves as well as warm socks and a hat if required. The CDC suggests an inner layer of wool or polypropylene to help draw sweat away from your body.
  • Check the forecast – Always check the weather before heading out to exercise in winter. If the wind chill is not ideal, temperatures are too cold, or there is bad weather on the way it is best not to tempt fate. Know when to opt for an indoors workout instead.

So, there you have our winter exercise safety tips! We hope they help you stay healthy and safe this winter. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Ways to Stay Active During the Winter Months

While seasonal weather changes don’t affect routine gym-goers as much as those who prefer outdoors exercise, many people across the board feel unmotivated to work out in the colder, darker winter months. However, if you fall into the category of those who fall out of sync with their usually dedicated fitness routines in winter, there are many ways to keep that fitness candle burning brightly all through the season.

7 Great Ways to Exercise in Winter

  1. Skating – Skating is an excellent winter workout. It can be a competitive event or just for fun. You can figure skate, speed skate, skate in winter sports like hockey, or just for leisure! It can be a great winter fitness activity for the whole family. So, find a safe iced-over pond or outdoors rink, grab your helmet and lace up for one of the most enjoyable ways to workout in winter!
  2. Pond hockey – While similar to the well-known sport ice hockey, pond hockey has less rules and regulations and can take place on any (safely) iced-over body of water. Hockey is a vigorous workout that utilizes most of the muscle groups in your body. All you need is warm clothes, skates, a puck, a couple make-shift nets, a group of friends and you’re off to the races.
  3. SnowshoeingLooking for a wonderful workout that really works those leg and core muscles? Look no further than snowshoeing. It is scenic, peaceful and can easily be an activity you do with friends. Snowshoes range from very affordable to high-end. You can also find some lightly used ones in your local buy-and-sell.
  4. Skiing – Potentially one of the more dangerous winter activities on the list, skiing can be lots of fun (and an amazing workout) when practiced safely. Cross-country skiing is much less risky than downhill skiing, but both types have their merits.
  5. Shoveling snow – This one may sound silly (and perhaps more like a chore than activity), but the fact of the matter is that you can burn nearly 400 calories in just 1 hour of shoveling snow – sign me up today!
  6. Tobogganing – One of the most exhilarating winter sports around is tobogganing (and it’s not just for kids, either)! Sure, you won’t burn many calories on the way down the hill but every walk back up to the top of the steep incline will surely work that bod. Again, it is important to practice sledding safety while tobogganing such as only doing so on a safe, certified hill where there are no obstacles, debris or trees that can hinder your ride.
  7. Or you can take the party indoors: Simply not a fan of the cold? There are plenty of great indoors options that can keep you fit year-round:
  • Invest in a personal exercise machine like a stationary bike or elliptical (you can always find half-off sales if you browse enough flyers, or just buy a used one online for fraction of the price).
  • Bite the bullet and join a local gym until it warms up outside.
  • Hit up your local indoor swimming pool on the regular.
  • Purchase a yoga or Pilates workout DVD or invest in an interactive sports game like Wii Fit.

Stay tuned next for some tips to exercise safely in the cold! Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember, our board-certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to help with any health inquiries you may have!

40 Healthy New Year’s Resolution Ideas

With the new year quickly approaching, we decided to compile a list of potential New Year’s resolutions to give you some inspiration for your own goals for 2017:

  1. Lose those extra Lbs (if you have them) for your health
  2. Take the stairs all year
  3. Try to pass on unhealthy snacks
  4. Do 50 daily squats, push-ups or sit-ups
  5. Cut out chips for a year
  6. Floss every day
  7. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids (in fish, nuts and seeds)
  8. Have a salad lunch 3 times every week
  9. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones
  10. Stop complaining and take action
  11. Reduce take-out meals to once monthly
  12. Spend more time with your family
  13. Spend less time looking at screens
  14. Spend more time outdoors
  15. Limit (non-work) screen time to 1 or 2 hours daily
  16. Cook with and snack on produce as much as possible
  17. Try to nix snap judgements
  18. Take at least 45 minutes out for yourself each day
  19. Bring that stress level down
  20. Organize your whole house one room at a time
  21. Find ways to laugh more
  22. Get out for a short daily walk with your partner or friend
  23. Eat more fiber
  24. Drink more water (try it with lemon for a zing)
  25. Keep alcoholic beverages down to 1 daily
  26. Quit smoking if you do it – your whole body will thank you
  27. Try something new that challenges you
  28. Try to better manage your time
  29. Learn deep breathing exercises and do them
  30. Start doing Kegels (they are good for men too)
  31. Carve out a designated exercise space in your home
  32. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill
  33. Try to stop procrastinating
  34. Quit biting your nails (if you do)
  35. Take better care of your skin (moisturize!)
  36. Take initiative of your healthcare and do what needs to be done
  37. Smile more
  38. Try to eat healthy 6 days a week (cheat days will be even sweeter then)
  39. Try a new fitness activity or class every week or month
  40. Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly

Have more ideas? Feel free to let us know on twitter! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll be back again soon.

Is it Possible to Spot-Target Weight Loss?

Is it possible to target what areas of your body you wish to lose fat from? There are plenty of advertisements, infomercials and products that will try to lead you to believe that weight loss can be strategic like that, but unfortunately science doesn’t quite back up this idea. Let’s take a closer look:

Does Spot Reduction Work?

Targeting specific areas for weight loss is known as ‘spot reduction’. It is quite an appealing notion, as many of us have “problem areas” we’d love to firm up or reduce, however, it isn’t that easy. One good example of a study that debunks this theory is one conducted by the University of California on the subcutaneous fat content of tennis players’ dominant tennis arms as compared to their opposite arms. The study yielded no noticeable difference between the more active arms and the unused ones. So, if professional tennis players who work those arms daily can’t achieve target fat reduction, how will the average Joe?

So, Why Can’t We Target Areas for Weight Loss?

Yale Scientific speculates that one reason spot-targeting isn’t effective is because many exercises that target specific areas are strength-training-based and not cardiovascular activities. You burn more calories and fat by doing cardio than by doing things like sit-ups or weight lifting. Don’t get us wrong, those activities are still excellent for building and firming muscle, but cardiovascular exercise is what really burns fat.

How Does the Fat Burning Process Work?

Cardio is generally a whole-body exercise, so you don’t really get to choose the areas the fat will burn from. It works by converting triglycerides in our system into glycerol which travels through the bloodstream to the muscles, which release this energy as heat, essentially ‘burning’ up the fat. So it just isn’t the type of process that can localize itself to a particular problem area, it involves the whole system.

So How Do We Change Those ‘Problem Areas’?

Just because exercise doesn’t discriminate where it works, doesn’t mean you won’t eventually start seeing positive changes in the areas you wish to target. By engaging in the recommended amount of weekly exercise and eating a balanced diet, you should start seeing whole-body weight loss, which will help those problem areas as well as the rest. And remember, we are all too hard on ourselves sometimes. As long as you’re doing everything you can to live a healthy lifestyle, try to cut yourself a break when it comes to the little things!

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember, our board-certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 should you have any health concerns!


15 Health Benefits Cycling Provides

All exercise is good exercise, but stationary and outdoor cycling has recently gained quite the reputation for being an extra healthful mode of fitness. Let’s check out just what proof is in the pudding:

  1. Biking is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise alternative.
  2. It works out many of the major muscle groups.
  3. It can improve stamina of the lungs and body.
  4. It is a highly adaptable activity. You can modify the speed and intensity according to your fitness level – you can even handcycle if you are handicapped!
  5. You can move it inside – with a stationary bike.
  6. Cycling helps build and firm muscles.
  7. Regular cycling can help lower stress levels and decrease anxiety.
  8. Regular cycling can help improve posture and balance as well as strengthen bones.
  9. It can improve joint health, and is a safe exercise choice for those with arthritis.
  10. Regular cycling can trim the fat – you can burn over 300 calories per hour session!
  11. Several studies conducted show a correlation between regular cycling and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular Danish study surmised that 45,000 adults who regularly cycled had up to an 18% fewer heart attacks over a 20-year period than those who did not.
  12. Routine aerobic exercise like cycling can help lower your chances of developing various diseases such as bowel cancer and diabetes.
  13. Studies show it can help with many conditions, including mental health conditions such as ADHD.
  14. Studies show that cycling can actually help improve certain injuries and conditions, including knee injuries.
  15. While exercise in itself will help increase chances of a longer, healthier life, a specific study done on Tour De France riders showed an 17% increase in lifespan over the average 73.5 years!

So all in all, there are plenty of reasons to give cycling a shot if you’re looking for a new, adventurous way to workout! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope to see you again soon.


15 Ways to Workout at the Office

Are you often too tired to workout after a long day at work and not enough of a “morning person” to workout before your job begins? How about these quick and easy exercises you can do while at work! Let’s check them out:

  1. Get a balance ball chair to work your core all day while you sit
  2. Take the stairs every time you have to change floors (whether its twice or 20 times a day)
  3. Do leg and foot exercises under the desk, like toe taps or leg lifts
  4. Keep lightweights at and use them for 5 minutes every hour
  5. Do kegels at your desk (they can benefit men too!)
  6. Do glute squeezes every time you’re standing
  7. Fit in calf raises while waiting for the copier
  8. Take a break from the computer and see how long you can do a wall sit
  9. On a break, pop outside and run around the building a couple times
  10. Hold a ream of paper straight up over your head and bend your arms behind your head
  11. Challenge your workmates to a fitness competition
  12. Eat quick and go to the gym on your lunch break
  13. Lift a ream of paper with your feet intermittently under your desk while working
  14. Try doing your work while standing
  15. Work your obliques with these great office chair workouts

So there you have it, workout while you work! Thanks for visiting DocChat, check back soon!

10 Great Types of Exercise for Asthmatics

When you’re an asthmatic, exercise can be a daunting notion that prompts images of wheezing, coughing and chest tightening, but it doesn’t have to be that way. While intense cardiovascular exercise can trigger dangerous asthma attacks, studies have proven that routine light-to-moderate exercise is actually quite beneficial for most asthmatics and can help increase lung capacity. Let’s look at some of the better types of exercise for asthmatics to try:

  1. Walking is perhaps tied with swimming as the best exercise choice for asthmatics. It gets you moving and gets that heart rate up without making your lungs head into spasm territory. One recent study found that those who walked multiple times weekly showed improved overall control of asthma symptoms than those who didn’t. Walking is also great because you can do it outdoors if conditions are okay, or take it indoors on a treadmill when winter air becomes too harsh on the lungs.
  2. Swimming is another ideal exercise type for asthmatics. It can be as mild or as vigorous as you choose, and the humid environment may help breathing and help to loosen mucus in asthmatics.
  3. Yoga can be doubly beneficial for asthmatics as it not only works out the body at a slow, lung-friendly pace, but the deep breathing techniques central to the practice are great for getting the stale air out of an asthmatic’s lungs and helping increase breath capacity. Namaste, indeed!
  4. Certain sports like volleyball and baseball are great choices as they aren’t too strenuous and combine periods of rest with periods of light to moderate activity. Basketball or football would not be good choices, however, because they require longer periods of high-intensity running and exertion.
  5. Weight training wouldn’t cause the lungs to work in overdrive the same as intense cardiovascular exercise would.
  6. Leisurely level-ground biking – Fast-paced or uneven terrain biking may be too hard on an exercise-induced asthmatic, however, light, level-ground biking could be just what the doctor ordered. It may provide enough resistance and require enough energy that it can help expand the lungs without inciting an attack.
  7. (Light) interval training – high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a very popular exercise trend as of late, for many good reasons. If you are severely asthmatic, you may want to leave off the “high intensity” part and just focus on any kind of exercise done in bursts between little rest breaks.
  8. Balance ball exercises – There are many balance ball exercise regimens out there that wouldn’t serve as an obstacle for an asthmatic, but would provide for them a well-balanced workout.
  9. Ballet – would probably be one of the least cardiovascular-based dance types for an asthmatic to more comfortably try. Ballet is an excellent workout, requiring the use of almost all your muscles and instilling great bodily discipline.
  10. Martial arts is another activity that allows for rest breaks between short bursts of activity, which can be very beneficial for asthmatics. It is also good for breath training and mental well-being.

We hope this post gave you some good exercise ideas for the asthmatics in your life! Thanks for visiting DocChat, if you have any medical questions remember our board certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to help!