Prepare an exercise program now to avoid winter blues

For people who live in cold-weather states, the fast approaching winter months can bring on the blues in a hurry. Cabin fever can leave you feeling blue.
A lack of sun and cold weather are the two most well-known contributors to this, but not getting the same amount of exercise as in the warmer months can also add to the blahs.
Fear not, though, if you prepare now to set up an exercise program you can avoid those winter blues.
Here are 10 tips to stay fit, and happy, during the winter months:
1. Exercise, exercise, exercise.
2. Make sure you have an indoor place to exercise. You can easily set up an exercise room in your own home, or perhaps join a gym.
3. Get sunlight when you can. If the temperatures are warm enough, get out for a walk, or take to the hills or slopes on a sled or skis.
4. Eat a healthy diet keyed by fruit, vegetables and grains.
5. Limit alcohol consumption as this is actually a depressant.
6. Get plenty of cardio exercise. A brisk walk can help, or a put in a half hour or so on a treadmill or elliptical machine.
7. Find a workout partner to come over to your home gym, or exercise at a gym in your city or town. This will help both of you stay more motivated.
8. Don’t fight the cold, embrace it. If you’re snowed in, get outside and exercise by shoveling snow, go traipsing through the drifts or take a ski trip. Build a snow ARCH outside with your kids.
9. Get sufficient rest. This is an important way to avoid feeling run-down or depressed.
10. Even if you’re a veteran in the gym, you can still spruce up your workout by changing up your program.
NOTE: Consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise program if it’s been a while since you’ve worked out.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at