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Winter usually brings cold temperatures and poor weather conditions (especially in Idaho). If you are like me, you will be tempted to skip your usual physical activity. Winter can be a challenge if you enjoy outdoor activities. If you are working from home, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine of sitting at your desk all day.

Maintaining your physical activity habits or starting a new activity program is important for your overall health. Being physically active just 30 minutes a day five times a week can reduce your risk for numerous chronic diseases, including cancer. However, any physical activity is better than nothing. So, how can you stay motivated and make sure you’re getting enough movement each day during the cold weather months? Here are some ways to fit physical activity into your daily winter routine.

Make use of your lunch break

It may be hard to be active when it’s dark outside. Take advantage of peak sunlight hours during your lunch break to get in daily movement. Stick to this routine throughout the week. This is also a great way to get away from sitting at your desk. Take 30 minutes for yourself and do yoga, an aerobic workout or another activity you enjoy.

Do chores around the house

Housework isn’t just for keeping your home tidy and clean. It’s a great way to get up and get moving while getting things done around your house (like deep cleaning or reorganizing).

Do at-home workouts

Personal trainers and fitness centers across the country are providing many at-home workouts for free online. Use Google, YouTube or other social media platforms to find a workout routine that suits your fitness level. Blast your favorite song and follow along on your computer or phone.

Find an exercise partner or group

Exercising with a partner or group can be motivating. Find out if friends or neighbors would walk with you once or twice a week. Ask someone in your household to be active with you. Participate in live workout classes being hosted on Zoom or Instagram.

Go outside

Since many people would rather hibernate during the winter, start going outside for small amounts of time - only 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes are up, you can go back inside. It works because it’s not a big commitment. Once outdoors and moving around, you warm up. The cold air invigorates you, and you feel good. Here are some fun outdoor winter activities:

· Ice Skating

· Downhill Skiing

· Cross Country Skiing

· Snowshoeing

· Plogging – Swedish fitness craze of jogging and picking up litter

· Shoveling Snow

· Playing in the Yard

· Sledding

Whether maintaining physical activity habits or developing a new routine, start small and find activities that you can enjoy during the winter months. It’s good for your physical and mental health.

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