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Stay Fit (and Happy) During Winter

Cloudy skies and cold temperatures can depress motivation, as snow and ice seem to melt our best efforts and drive us to reach for a bad TV show or a good book instead of changing into workout clothes. But with a slight change of attitude, you can turn snowy days into new winter fitness adventures, using nature as your playground.

Winter doesn’t have to bring on the blues. Follow some or all of the following tips to stay fit and have fun even when it’s cold outside.

Change is good : Winter weather offers an opportunity for regime changeup. Burn rubber in a spin class, trade hiking boots for snowshoes; rollerblades for ice skates, or take a swing class and dance some winter blues away.

Play in the snow: Both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are excellent winter workouts. A 150-pound woman can burn 500 calories in an hour in either activity, and the timeless beauty of falling snow brings refreshing solitude to busy lives. Have a snowball fight, build a snowman or go sledding for wintertime family fun.

Dose up on D : Spark your stamina, fortify your immune system and build strong bones with an adequate intake of vitamin D. Sunshine is the best source of the vitamin, which is why we need to supplement in the winter. A serving of wild caught salmon provides 128 percent of daily need, which makes it the champion of cold season choices.

Fuel Your fire : Curling up to a crackling fire on a cold, dark evening is a wonderful way to end the day, and you can spark some calorie-burning by chopping your own wood. It’s a total body workout that will keep you warm in the winter air. Turn it into family time by having your kids stack logs, then roast marshmallows after dinner.

Keep fit at home : If you have kids, you probably have access to video games. Active ones can allow you to stay fit at home with a variety of routines. Regain equilibrium with balance games or try yoga for a dose of calming strength. If you don’t have video games, give a Jazzercise DVD a run for its money when you feel like staying in.

And remember: spring is only a season away.

Kristen Hallett Rzasa is the owner of InterPlay Health, LLC and Jazzercise. She is an entrepreneur, dancer, instructor, writer, yogi, golfer and avid reader.

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