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Fact Or Fiction: Winter Health Myths

December 11, 2013, 6:10 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Fact Or Fiction: Winter Health Myths

You've likely heard that you should wear a hat because you lose most of your body heat through your head. That’s just one of several winter health myths.

It's not a path many people like to run. Charissa Covey and Jenni Struck exercise outside several times a week, even in subzero temperatures.

"The scenery and just the fresh air. It feels good to get outside," Covey said.

But is it good for your health to exercise outside during this freezing cold weather? If you're properly dressed, research shows it's beneficial.

"I think it's good for people. The fresh air is really good for people to get out from indoors," Director of Operations at Avera McKennan Fitness Center Jenni Struck said.

Research also shows that in colder temperatures people often run faster.

"A lot of running events and things you typically tend to see faster times in cooler weather than you do in the heat," Struck said.

That faster pace allows you to burn more calories in less time.

You might have also heard that the average woman gains around ten pounds every winter, but that number is more around one to two pounds.

"But if you don't lose that two pounds and you always gain two pounds every year, within a ten year period, you are looking at 20 extra pounds. I'd say that's pretty realistic for people, so you do have to keep it in check," Struck said.

When outside, you also probably think a hat is a must. While covering your head is a good idea, did you know that you actually don't lose most of your body heat through your head?

"It's just whatever is exposed is most at risk of losing heat from," Struck said.

But whether you decide to bundle up and head outside or workout inside, staying active is important for a happy and healthy holiday season.

While the average woman gains one to two pounds over the winter, a Nutrition Review study shows that weight gain during the holiday season accounts for more than half the amount a woman gains throughout the year.

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