Getting fit as a fiddle during the winter months.

I had minus 16 degrees this morning and I was glad I wasn’t a kid waiting for the bus to come pick me up.  I certaintly have never been a huge fan of the cold winter days.  The good news of days like today is the sun is bright and this always brings me optimism that there will be more warm days to enjoy the outdoor activities of winter and that spring and golf are just a few months away.

It’s just a little over a month from this years American Birkibeiner in Hayward Wisconsin.  There is not enough snow to do the Birkie at this time so we are hoping and praying they get snow so we can have an incredible weekend always the 3rd saturday in February.  If you want to do something fun come up and be a spectator at the Birkie.  Thousands of people cheer thousands of skiers on mainstreet Hayward.  It really is a sight to be seen.  You can’t help but be inspired when doing or watching the Birkie.

Riley Edling skiing his first Barnebirkie

I remember back in 1989 living and practicing up in Park Falls Wisconsin.  I lived just down from the papermill in town.  I can still smell that ugly pulp smell, yuck!!  I was also coaching high school basketball at the time and was having a blast doing that.  I needed somehthing to do for my fitness since I couldn’t play basketball due to my knee.  I had a patient named Dave Wilcox that suggested we go cross country skiing.  I got a pair of ski’s and started skiing with Willie up at Johnsons ski trail in Wakefield Michigan every Wednesday.  It was so much fun and I was getting in great shape and felt so much better.  I started doing a couple of citizens races and then signed up for the Korteloppet which is the 1/2 Birkie.  I did a couple of those before my first Birkie.  20 Birkies later and meeting hundreds of great people along the way it has truly been a lifechanging sport for me.  It has kept me young, fit, and disciplined to treat my mind-body well.

When we get the dog days of winter there is always something you can do for exercise.  You can join a gym, do bodyweight exercises at home, snowshoe, cross country ski, play hockey, skate, slide, jog, walk, and on and on.  Fitness is an ongoing 365 day process.  Your body needs movement for survival.  Your brain needs movement, that’s how it gets oxygen which is fuel for your brain.  The worst thing you can do is sit all day on the computer and then go home and watch T.V. all night.  Do that along with not eating protein based breakfast, and having a poor diet is a recipie for disaster over time.  We have enough sickness care in our country.  How about finding something you like to do and just doing it. I know you can do it.  I’ve seen people change who I never thought would.  It all comes down to how bad do you want your health and well being.  I try to lead by example as to what’s possible for your health.  I figure I’ll have 50 Birkies in by the time I’m 80 and still kicking butt on the youngters.

Until next time, tie the shoes or boots up and get at it.  Once you decide to make the change then anything is possible. Stick with it, don’t stop, find some friends to work out with, and have fun with it.  You’ll surprise yourself in no time if you just stick with it.  For those that have some chronic health issues please give yourself time to heal.  Patience is a virtue if you have neglected your body mind.   I’m here to lead you along your way to improved health, well being, and happiness in life. Dr. E

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