For many people, winter is a good time to get outdoors and ski or snowshoe or skate, even walk or jog. For others, well, they hibernate. None of us should have any excuse however not to move, even if we aren't inclined to venture outside.

We have become a society of 'sitters'; watching T.V. or playing on the computer while our muscles remain unused, and boredom has us snacking. There are so many thing we can do in our homes to use the muscles and not allow our strength to deteriorate, but it one has to simply 'do it'.

So many people I see have stationary bikes, or treadmills or ellipticals that remain lonely and unused; simply the idea of beginning to do something in the form of exercise seems almost abhorrent to a lot of people. Yet our minds, emotions, hearts and muscles need to be stimulated. If you have access to any sort of machine, start using it, even if only for 10 minutes per day.

I would, however, encourage everyone to do some sort of strength workout. This requires minimal equipment yet results in huge benefits. As most know, women lose 5 pounds of muscle every decade after 30 and men up to 7 pounds per decade. We must regain that loss, not only to increase resting metabolism, but to regain strength to continue to walk and get out of chairs. It improves our balance so we aren't worried about falls and broken bones, and it will give us energy in the evening as our brains begin to secrete more serotonin and dopamine. We need this during these long cold winter months.

I would start with leg strength and core strength. Simple partial squats (no, not all the way down and risk hurting your knees), just enough to maybe touch your butt to the couch or even less. Do 10 during a commercial break during a T.V. show. Do 10 more and then 10 more. Stand and do toe raises to strengthen your calf muscles; again, at least 10 repeated 3 times.

If you are able, lie on the floor and do abdominal crunches, just lifting head and shoulders off the floor enough to see your toes. Do 20, repeat after resting 30 seconds. If you can't get down on the floor, then simply pull your abdominal muscles in while you are sitting and hold for 10 seconds and release. Then repeat 10 more times.

Your triceps are an important muscle group to help you get out of a chair. Using light weights or simply soup cans, you can sit and lift your arm straight up then drop the elbow and push upward with your triceps toward the ceiling. If you already have reasonable strength then tricep dips off a bench or chair is a fabulous exercise.

Both men and women can do push ups. These can be done by standing upright and facing a wall and using the arms to push your body away from the wall and then back in. If you want do formal push ups on the floor, but in the kneeling position. This will strengthen your arms and shoulders, back and chest.

Be inventive. If you are standing and cooking, don't just stand, do calf raises as you stand there.

You can go on You Tube and find a ton of simple exercises you can do in the confines of your home. Simple and harder ones.

But, I do need you to want to do these. Don’t just sit at home and do nothing. I don't care what you do, but do something. Stress your muscles and they will become stronger. Energy will be better. Mood will be better. Most of all, your health will become better.

You can do it. I know you can. Just don't ever give up. Keep trying!

Dr. Doug