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I am almost embarrassed to tell you this, especially those of you who live in the east, south and Midwest. While you are coping with the worst winter storms of the century, those of us living in Spokane, Washington are experiencing a very mild almost snowless winter. This is far from normal for us but I want you to know our hearts are with you because we have been in your situation every winter season until this year. So I’m drawing on first-hand experience as I write the following “Do’ and Don’ts” for surviving winter hazards.

I know this is perfect weather to snuggle up with a blanket and good book, just don’t do it the entire day. Get up and stretch your hamstrings, calves and hip flexor muscles at least once an hour. Clasp your hands and place them behind your head, elbows pointing to each side. Draw the elbows back, opening the chest as you take a deep breath in. Relax and breathe out. Repeat two more times. Follow this by clasping your hands and pushing them up to the ceiling, leaning right and then left. Finish by unclasping hands, straightening the arms and pushing them out to each side about 4 times, from shoulder level down toward the floor. Pressing the palms to the floor with wrists extended, turn them forward & back, with fingers pointing in each direction.

If you must go outside, take a few minutes to warm up your ankles, by doing ankle circles, pointing the toes and flexing the ankles. Keep your head covered, put on warm mittens or gloves and if you have snow poles, grab them and head on out. Stay focused and be aware of your surroundings. Maintain good posture and practice your heel-toe walk.

A new study regarding inactivity physiology, paints a dismal picture for anyone who remains sedentary. Stay healthy by moving all day.

Warmest wishes,

Mary Ann Wilson

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