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Exercise to beat the winter blues

Wearing warmer layers to protect exposed areas
Wearing warmer layers to protect exposed areasPhoto by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

The cooler months should never hinder you from a successful workout, no matter what part of the world you live in. For those that are knee deep in snow piles, these exercises are bound to get on your feet in no time. Whether your an outdoor or an indoor runner, staying fit during the winter months doesn't have to be difficult.

Bundle Up!

If you are looking to spice up your workout routine, throw on some layers of clothing, a warm insulated hat and gloves and your best waterproof sneakers and start going for a jog around your block. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), it is recommended to spend at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day for five days a week and eight to 10 strength training exercises two days a week to maintain appropriate health.

ACSM also suggests extra protection for areas of the body that are exposed to the weather such as ears, finger and head. Protect these areas with extras layers like gloves, ear muffs and rubber cleats that grip slippery an icy surfaces. Running, jogging, ice skating and skiing are all fun ways to stay active while burning extra calories. Friends and family can join in the fun as well!

Indoor Fun

If you have access to a gym, utilize your resources. From stationary bikes and an elliptical to aerobics classes and swimming, staying in shape and keeping fit during the winter can be easier than you think. Unsure of how to use the equipment? Any personal trainer should be able to run you through a quick workout to get you started! Dance classes such as Zumba and Latin dance are an all body workout that will have you shedding calories while toning muscle and having fun!

If you don't belong to a gym or don't have any equipment at home, buy a Latin dance or Zumba DVD. ACSM also states that 30 minutes of dancing to your favorite music is another way to keep active and fit. You may also use your body weight for a 30 minute session as well. For example, try running in place for 40 seconds, push-ups for 40 seconds, lunges for 40 seconds, take a three to five minute break and repeat these exercises.

Any 30 minute physical activity will help keep you in great condition. Before you know it, it will be Summer and you will be glad you kept your promise to stay active!