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by Bob Bonham


Staying Fit & Healthy in Late Winter & the Chilly Days of Early Spring For Immediate Release:

NEW YORK -Spring may be around the comer, but there are still several weeks of cold weather left. Just because it is cold outside is no excuse to avoid working out and indulge in fattening, unhealthy foods. Here, fitness expert Bob Bonham of Strong and Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ offers tips for staying active and getting in shape in these final weeks of winter and the chilly part of early spring in March and April.

INDOOR WORKOUTS: Many times, the weather is simply too bad to get to the gym. What can you do when you want to work out but snow has closed the roads or your engine won't start due to the cold? You can always do old-fashioned calisthenics (push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks, jumping rope) whenever you are housebound. There's also a lot you can do with some dumbbells and an exercise ball on days when going to the gym is not possible. Just make sure you approach exercising at home with the same intensity you do at the gym because it is quite easy to be lazy when you are alone and no one is watching. Put up a photo of your favorite sports star or celebrity, or someone whose physique you emulate, for inspiration when you are working out solo at home.

BUNDLE UP IN LAYERS FOR OUTDOOR WORKOUTS: If you are planning to exercise outside (such as run or jog or ice skate or play ice hockey), remember to dress in layers, and wear something on your head and also wear gloves. If you dress in layers, you can take something off if you get too hot. Layers that you wear closest to your skin should allow sweat to be soaked up, and your top layer must be wind and water resistant. Keep in mind that it is never a good idea to sweat too much outdoors in the cold and get too chilled. Want to know if you're overdoing it? Use a heart~rate monitor. When you do finally go inside, do not strip your layers of clothes off immediately. It is best to give your body adjustment time to avoid post-exercise hypothermia.

Gradually remove any layers to avoid this. If you have medical conditions such as a weak heart or asthma, get your doctor's approval before exercising in the cold because extremely frigid temperatures can cause chest pain or asthma attacks. If you get hard, pale and numb skin while exercising in the cold, you may be getting frostbite, so get inside and warm up the area immediately. Hypothermia symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, coordination loss and fatigue. If you have these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

A VOIDING COLD- WEATHER ILLNESSES: Recent studies have shown that there is a lot of tmth in your mother's old warnings about "catching a cold" in the winter. One reason why we're more susceptible to colds and flu this time of year is because we spend more time indoors in close quarters with others. How many times have you gotten sick from your coworkers? One way to avoid winter illnesses is to wash your hands regularly. Cold germs and flu viruses often travel on the hands, so wash your hands regularly with hot soap and water or use anti-bacterial gel, especially after touching things such as doorknobs or using bank ATMs.

WHEN TO KNOW YOU ARE TOO SICK TO TRAIN: Check your neck. Many doctors say that if symptoms are above your neck, such as nose congestion, it is sometimes okay to work out as long as you do not overdo. However, if your symptoms are below the neck-such as chest congestion or body aches-it is best to avoid the gym entirely because you are probably too sick to train. Remember that exercise, especially weight training, can lower the immune system, so if you feel feverish or have a deep cough, take a few days off from training until you get better.

HYDRA nON & SUNSCREEN ARE IMPORTANT IN WINTER, TOO: Staying hydrated in winter and early spring is just as important as it is in the summer, especially if you are exercising. Drink plenty of water if you are doing anything outdoors. If you are participating in winter sports such as skiing or skating, it is important to wear sunscreen. Did you know that snow reflects the sun's rays, too? Wear sunscreen and some type of lip balm if you are going to be playing sports outside when it is cold.

DO NOT LOAD UP ON COMFORT FOODS: Many people forget about eating healthy in the winter and feel it is okay to eat a lot of junk food or excessive carbs, but do you really want to spend most of April and May frantically dieting to lose those extra pounds you gained in winter? If you want something hot and filling, opt for low-fat chicken soup (which can help you nurse colds and other illnesses) or low-fat, sugar-free hot chocolate instead of mashed potatoes and gravy and greasy, high-fat casseroles.

The November 2007 issue ofPowerlifting USA magazine featured Strong & Sbapely Gym as its "Hanlcore Gym of the Month." The septemher 2007 issue of Men's Exercise included a feature on Bob Bonham's tips for healthy eating for busy people in the magazine's "Fantastic Facts" column. Bob Bonham was recently profiled in the self-help book "How to Climb Your Ladder of Success Without Running Out of Gas!: The Simple Truth on How to Revitalize Your Body and Ignite Your Energy for Lifelong Success" by John M. Rowley. New Jersey's WOR TV News (Channel 9) also interviewed Bonham as a consultant during "sweeps week" for a feature on Hollywood's new diet aids. The TV news show "Inside Edition "interviewed bodybuilder Gregg Valentino at Strong & Shapely for a human-interest story. The gym is the training center for everyone from top athletes to business people jnst trying to stay in shape. The gym has 334 workout stations, with 12 computerized circuit machines (9 in stretching rooms), 60 leg machines, 35 for chest, 30 miscellaneous benches, 5 Smith machines, plus I neck, 14 shoulder, 41 back, 72 cardio, 7 lower back, 25 ab and 23 arm machines. Also look for 40, 675 pounds offree weights, 20,000 Ibuf plates, 17,700 Ihs of dumbbells, 20751bs off-'xed barbells and EZ-curls, 990 Ibs of Olympic bars, and a posing room and sauna. For more information, visit www.strong-and-shapely.com


Bob is a regular contributor to many bodybuilding magazines.





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