Old Man (in) Winter

In the winter, my physical fitness slackens and my waist expands. At least, until last year.  Last winter there was snow to shovel, a great workout if you don’t overdo it. And I set up my old Nordic Track exerciser and used it in-between snows.

This winter my region is setting records for warm temperatures. Some of the spring bulbs came up in December. I have exercised outside almost every day.

Outdoor exercise in the daytime is great for my mood.

I have battled a tendency to depression for a long time. Before I realized this, I thought I was poetic. (Thanx and a tip o’ the hat to JJ for some solid feedback!) It isn’t bright enough in Winter to make Vitamin D (thanx and a tip o’ the hat to Dr. M for some solid science!), but the bright light is great against depression.

It stayed abnormally warm until New Years Eve here. The past two days have been more seasonal, which is, wind-chill numbers around 20 degrees. I did a long walk one day, and did the exercise course in the park the next day, with many layers of clothing, and no terrible discomfort. But the next two days will be a lot colder.

I am pretty sure that older bodies do not produce warmth as effectively as younger ones.  There is some science that shows that being cold does not cause the common cold.  But, I have to think that cold is stressful.

I want to become able to hike in the cold. I hope to do long hikes in the next few years, and cold weather is likely to occur. I hope these cold-weather workouts will improve my ability to handle cold, without making me ill. This is the classic problem: stress makes the body build up, but too much stress breaks it down.

Modern science brings us warm clothing with efficient, inexpensive, lightweight insulation, along with breathable yet waterproof fabrics. I will test these as the wind-chill approaches zero.


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