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Exercise and the Winter Months: Keeping Your Routine 
by Jami Cameron October 03, 2005

Winter's almost here, and the cold weather may dictate if your outdoor exercise routine is still a doable activity. But, not to worry, you can stay in tip top shape even during the winter months. All it takes is a little motivation, creativity and routine change.

If you live in a state where the winter all but screams stay inside, and you prefer to run or play outdoor sports, try these exercise ideas instead:

Hop, skip and jump in your own personal space.

Have a DVD or VCR player? Then the next time you are at your local electronics store or super store, check out the exercise video section. There is a myriad of cardio, aerobic and strength training videos available. Pick a few out and allot 30 - 60 minutes each day for a exercise class in the privacy of your own home.

Treat yourself to health.

Spend a few extra bucks each month and join a gym. Make sure you choose one that is conveniently located - pick a gym that is close to your home or work in order to give you that extra motivation. Gyms offer a wide variety of exercise classes and provide the latest in work out equipment.

Find a sports organization near you.

Many cities have organized sports available to the average Joe. Join a basketball, floor hockey or swimming team that you can join. Or, get a group together and find an open court to play your own game.

Invest in your health.

Maybe you're not into exercise classes or find exercise videos aren't your cup of tea. Instead, purchase a treadmill or stationary bike to push your workout to the next level.

Let's go to the mall!

Chances are that your local mall opens a bit earlier in order to provide a safe indoor walking track during the winter months. Go for a stroll three or four times a week to keep the pounds off.

Stuck on the outdoors.

If you live in a state that has mild winters, or even if you experience harsh winters but love the outdoors, try these exercise suggestions:

  • Downhill skiing. If you are a skiing fanatic, buy a season pass at the closest slope and make it a routine.
  • Run rabbit, run. Love to run? Buy the necessary winter clothing (and don't forget reflective strips for the dark morning or evening hours) and hit the great outdoors. Running tends to be a better experience when the weather is cooler, but make sure it isn't too cold out - you don't want to push yourself too hard.
  • Frisbee or disc golf. Frisbee/disc golf is all the rage - it is a fun activity that burns the calories quite well. Find out if you have a group in your area and join in order to maintain a fun workout.
  • Ice skating anyone? Ice skating is another great way to burn calories, so find a local outdoor rink and do some high energy laps.
  • Hockey. Bring your ice skating to the next level - play some hockey. Get the family together, or find a group willing to play a few days a week. You'll have a blast and burn those calories.
  • Walk it out. If you have mild winters, chances are you can still walk your normal outdoor track. Keep up the pace and wear appropriate clothing in order to be safe.
  • Cycling. Again, if you live in a mild climate, biking is still an option for you. Depending on the season, you may want to adjust your biking routine to make sure the sun is out so you can be seen, or wear reflective clothing that's easy to spot.
  • Snow shoes work the legs. Snow on the ground? Grab a pair of snow shoes for an ultimate leg work out. You'll burn more calories than walking without them and be able to enjoy the fresh winter air.
  • Curling. This sport is usually played in an ice arena or outdoor rink. It's fun, different from the same old routine and burns calories to boot.


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