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Staying fit during the winter months

The cold winter winds are blowing and it's infinity below degrees zero outside (or at least it feels like it!), but you don't have to let that stop you from getting the physical activity you need to stay healthy. Getting regular exercise is necessary for your entire well being – your joints, your heart, your muscles, your digestion, your brain health, as well as your emotional state.

Winter can be a tough time for anyone, being stuck indoors with a lack of fresh air and sunlight. Luckily, if you are in the Denver area, you have plenty of opportunities and options for getting exercise, and having fun in the process.

Water Aerobics Classes

If you're a social butterfly and you can't see yourself exercising without a group of friends, get your friends to sign up for a water aerobics class together through the Denver Parks and Recreation department. They have a Silver Splash class of water aerobics for those over 64, and there is also a deep water class for younger seniors who want more of a challenge. Water aerobics are great because they offer resistance to keep your muscles strong, without impact on the bones and joints. You'll also have the pleasure of getting into a heated pool indoors during the winter!

Tai Chi Classes

Tai Chi is a form of martial arts from China that has its roots in ancient Chinese medicine. Although it's considered a part of the martial arts, you won't be fighting anyone with flying punches or kicks.

It's comprised of a series of slow, low impact movements and a form of meditation all at the same time. Because it is easy on the body but still very beneficial, it is most often recommended for those who have recently had surgery, or for people in wheel chairs. Check out the Tai Chi Project in Denver http://taichidenver.com/classes.html for information on classes.

Indoor Golf

Keep your golf swing from getting rusty at one of the city's indoor driving ranges, two of which are The Driving Force in Broomfield (about 20 minute drive from downtown) and Front Range Indoor Golf and Tap in Longmont (a 40 minute drive from downtown).

Doing something that you would normally only do in the spring or summer will not only get you out of the house with physical activity, but it will also put you in a fresh state of mind – something we all need more of in the dead of winter.

Dance Classes

You can start learning ballroom dancing with a class, or by yourself at the Wheat Ridge Active Adult Center http://www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/index.aspx?NID=555. Line dancing and ballroom dancing are both offered because they are low impact, but you are still getting the amount of physical activity you should be getting to stay healthy.

This is also a good way to meet new friends, since you will be dancing with them for a few hours at a time. The private classes are offered for those who would rather learn on their own with a teacher, so they can wow their friends later with their new moves. Either way, these types of dances are a lot of fun and a break from the winter doldrums.