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Winterizing Your Workout

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##### About the Author

Portland-based freelance writer Lisa Weiner is a nurse practitioner and proud mother of a two-year-old boy. She has a passion for demystifying the world of health for her patients and readers. Her work has appeared in Clinician Reviews, The Jewish Review, Northwest Palate and the Oregonian.

As the weather turns colder and nightfall arrives by late afternoon, it becomes more challenging to continue our usual outdoor exercise routines. Of course, we certainly don't do our health, mood or waistline any favors by forgoing exercise in the winter months. That's why it's a good idea to have some get-moving strategies for those days when snuggling up under the covers seems a lot more appealing than venturing out for a speed walk.

Tips for Winterizing Your Workout

  • Try something new: Visit your local library or video store and check out some different workout DVDs. This is a great time to experiment: flow yoga? Ballroom dancing? Pilates? If you find a few you love, you can purchase them or sign up for a class.
  • Do it for the dog: Remind yourself that your pooch doesn't care about the weather report--she still needs lots of exercise. Sometimes our love for our canine friends is just the extra boost we need to get out the door and get moving. Don't have a dog? Borrow one!
  • Buddy up. Find a friend who lives close by and make a commitment to exercise together three mornings (or evenings) a week. Over and over again, studies have shown the efficacy of the buddy system when it comes to working out.
  • Motivate yourself. Remember what comes after winter? Put up some photos or pictures from magazines featuring some of your favorite spring and summertime activities. Seeing photos of beaches, pools, hikes and, especially, bathing suits helps us remember that we're not going to be in bulky clothes forever--and when the time comes to shed the layers, we'd like our bodies to be looking and feeling good.
  • Gear up. Investing in some cold-weather workout gear--rain pants, comfortable boots, a rain jacket with a well-fitting hood--is well worth it if it means that you can stick to your routine, whatever the weather report. Or if you live in a snowier climate, it might be worth it to splurge on some cross-country skies or snow shoes.

So, this winter, do yourself a favor and follow whatever tip will keep you exercising at least three times a week through the cold months. Your body, your mood, your cholesterol (and your dog!) will thank you for it.

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