Exercise is a great way to reduce scarring. Exercise promotes circulation, which means more oxygen gets to the scar – a very important part of healing. (Incidentally, this is why smoking is linked to worse scarring; it lowers oxygen levels in the blood.) Another benefit of exercise is that it encourages you to drink more water, and adequate hydration, overall, optimizes every bodily function, including healing.
However, in the winter, it can be hard to convince yourself to get off the couch, especially when the couch is so warm and the outside is so cold. No worries – stay warm and toasty while you get moving with these winter fitness tips.
Weight training should always be a part of your fitness routine, as it offers many health and weight loss benefits. And winter is the perfect time to start or step up your strength-building program. You can use your own body weight, or you can use equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, Kettle bells, or cables.
Dust off that DVD you’ve been meaning to use or look online for exercise ideas and tips on how to do them safely and correctly for maximum results. Start with lower weights and progress gradually. If you want to get out of the house, or need a bit more formal instruction on getting started with weights, this is a great activity to take up at the gym as well.
If you’ve never tried Pilates, winter is a great time to start. It is usually done indoors (although you certainly can take it outside when irresistible weather returns). Pilates focuses on strengthening and stretching the whole body, bringing scar-healing, oxygen-rich blood rushing to your muscles and skin and making you look and feel wonderful. Instructional Pilates videos can offer a wide range of guided workouts from beginner level through advanced.
When temperatures plummet, hot yoga can be just the thing to get you off the couch and heated up in no time. Hot yoga is a type of yoga performed in a very warm (105 degrees) and humid studio. Its formal name is Bikram yoga. Hot yoga is typically a 90-minute program consisting of 26 poses. The poses are challenging and will give all major muscle groups a great workout, and the heat ensures that you sweat plenty. This all serves to raise your heart rate and strengthen your muscles.
With hot yoga, if you have any health concerns at all, check with your doctor before beginning. Hot yoga is probably not a good option for anyone with heart disease or problems with dehydration, or who have had heatstroke or other heat-related illness before. It is also not for pregnant women. For others, however, hot yoga offers a great workout along with the refreshing and focusing benefits of yoga.
There are plenty of options for staying in shape while staying away from winter’s chill – but if you do want some fresh air, put on some layers and get outside anyway. Walking or running in the cold is very invigorating and refreshing for some people. Also try to find a workout buddy – a friend who will make the commitment with you to stay on top of your fitness goals all winter long.
Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.
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