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Is Exercising in the Cold Healthy for Your Lungs?

This time of year most of us look forward to treats, and staying cozy at holiday gatherings. But medical professionals say it's especially important to stay active--even if it means braving the cold weather.

When the weather outside is frightful, the last thing most people want to do is exercise

Susan McQuade, respiratory therapist at Hendrick Medical Center explains, "Especially in West Texas, we're not use to really cold temperatures, and it can make you uncomfortable, so some people will decide not to".

But medical experts say the cooler time of year is when we should be working up a sweat.

“If they're accustomed to exercising outside, and they're fit, then it's not going to be shock to their system. The cold weather can bring on a burning sensation, which is usually temporary", says McQuade.

That burning feeling in your chest could just be symptoms of a good winter workout, and not the flu.

“They cannot get sick, as far as catching pneumonia or catching a cold, those are caused from viruses. Cold air is very sensitive to the lungs, and when you're exercising, you tend to increase your respiratory rate, which makes it so you breathe in more cold air", explains McQuade.

Whether you decide to brave the elements to burn off those holiday treats, or prefer to stay inside to sweat it out, doctors say what's most important is that you stay active through every season.

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