Stave off holiday pounds with regular exercise

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

JCC Rec center winter options
No need to skip your workout when it’s cold outside. James City County Recreation Center is ready to help you stay fit all winter long. (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)

Winter is coming, but that’s no reason to let the cold keep you from meeting your health goals.

Freezing weather may make it a little harder to stick to your fitness routines, but staying physically active on a regular basis has amazing health benefits.

Working out can help you control your weight, reduce the risk of numerous diseases, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mental health and mood and generally increase your chances of living a longer life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two and a half hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging or running, can increase your quality of life immensely.

Staying fit isn’t as hard as it used to be. Local recreation centers offer programs for people of all shapes, ages and sizes. The James City County Recreation Center offers group fitness classes, such as Pilates with props, strength training and Zumba, to name just a few.

James City County is even willing to work with you if can’t afford the regular rates. They offer 75-, 50-, and 20-percent discounts to eligible applicants. Eligibility is determined by residency in James City County or the City of Williamsburg proper and depends on the number of residents in a household and the gross annual income of the household.

York County offers affordable programs for elementary-age children and families, such as its Friday night “Skate, Rattle & Roll,” which costs $5 per session and includes basic skate rentals. Easy and fun activities like “Skate, Rattle & Roll” are considered moderate-intensity workouts, which contribute to your overall health.

There’s no better day than today when it comes to working towards a healthy lifestyle. Stave off holiday weight gain by watching what you eat and also exercising regularly. And of course, always consult your doctor before partaking in strenuous activity.