KEEPING ACTIVE IN WINTER
     With the cold weather comes darker mornings and nights and many people find they become inactive. So here are some tips to get you off the couch and out into the open. Don’t use winter as the excuse to give up your active lifestyle. There are many exercise options available, so don’t hide at home and instead get outside and enjoy being fit all year round.

1.    It is all about how you think that will make or break your fitness over winter. Think of exercise as a positive way for you to be active and to help burn calories and fat.
2.    Find a local heated pool preferably indoors as swimming uses all the muscles in the body. Water aerobics is fun and for all ages and levels of fitness.
3.    Listen to some upbeat music or do your workout in front of the TV. Take an MP3 on walks so that you can listen to self help CD’s or your favorite music.

4.
    Don’t get bored. Either have several routes to take when walking or mix up your exercise workouts as often as you can such as walking, aerobics, Wii fit, gym, yoga etc.
5.    Don’t use the dark mornings as an excuse as there are many opportunities in the day to move, such as in your lunch break. Why not get a few workmates to join you so you can all get fit and also this will keep you accountable.
6.    Having an exercise buddy is a great idea especially on those cold mornings. Once again this will help you stay motivated and committed to regular exercise. If you have a dog then don’t forget they need to be active even on those cold days. You both can have some time away from the heater and I guarantee you will always feel better for doing it and your pet will thank you for it.
7.    Join a gym and do indoor activities such as workouts, weights and fitness classes.
8.    You could also join a sports team and do indoor sports such as cricket and basketball.
9.    Incidental fitness can be just around the corner so look for ways to get fit by going up stairs instead of lifts, park the car further from the shops, gardening and playing with the kids can all help.
10.  Don’t use winter as your excuse to gain weight and reduce your fitness level. Before you know it summer will be here and you will be so glad when you put on your swimsuit to see all the work you did over winter paid off.

Remember these important tips for exercise during winter.
•    Keep hydrated – Even in winter it is important to stay hydrated especially when exercising. A good way to add water in winter is to have hot water with a wedge of lemon or lime or herbal teas.
•    Wear sunscreen – You can still get burnt in winter, so if you are exercising outdoors make sure you wear sunscreen and wear protective clothing and a hat.
    Wear layers – When you exercise outdoors during the colder months I suggest that you wear layers of clothing. Layering means as you get warmer you can remove layers so you don’t get too hot.
    Warm up - Cold temperatures can make your muscles tight and prone to injury. Make sure you do a thorough warm-up prior to your exercise.