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InterView Magazine
  Couple jogging on the beach 
        During the winter, most of us want to stay warm and cozy at home with a cup of tea and a good book. Much like animals, we want to “hibernate.”
        While it might be tempting to stay indoors, it’s not a good idea to let the weather disrupt your usual exercise routine.
        Exercise is vital—especially for those of us over age 50. It promotes cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, improves muscle tone, lowers the risk of dementia and boosts mood.
        Plus, exercise helps with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Sitting on the sidelines for just a few months could stall your weight loss efforts or potentially cause you to gain weight.
        After all, walking briskly just half an hour a day can burn as much as 200 calories—adding  up to 4.8 pounds of fat burned over a three-month period.
        If you plan ahead, cold weather exercise can be safe and comfortable. Here are seven tips to help you stay active this winter.

Couple standing on rock

Man drinking water

1. Warm up your muscles
        Warming up before a workout is always a good idea, and warm-ups are especially important during the winter months. Even though our core temperature is a constant 98.6 degrees, our muscles, tendons and ligaments get colder when the weather is cold. To reduce the risk of injury, start your workout with light exercise.

2. Be ready for rain 
We get our share of rain during the winter months in Southern California, so be prepared when you head out for a walk.  Wear shoes that offer good traction so you’ll be less likely to lose your footing on slick sidewalks. If rain is forecast, wear a raincoat and take an umbrella, or bring a folding poncho you can keep in your pocket just in case.    

3. Stay hydrated
        Even though the need to drink water is emphasized
 more during the summer, we can still get dehydrated during the winter. As we get older, we’re more prone to dehydration, and the risks can be more serious.
Always remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.

4. Dress in layers
        It’s hard to know how warm your clothing needs to be before leaving for a walk. You’ll probably get warmer once you’ve been moving for a while, but you never know when the wind might pick up. Even if you feel fine without a coat, carry a coat just in case. Your first layer should be made of a material (not cotton) that wicks sweat off your skin.

5. Stay visible
        Wintertime means less daylight, and walking in the early morning or evening can be dangerous due to the dim light or darkness. Motorists might not see you, especially if you wear dark clothing. If you can’t plan your walks during daylight hours, put reflective tape on your clothing (back and front), or wear a
reflective vest. It also helps to wear light-colored clothing.

6. Bring a friend
        Talking with a friend while exercising can make an otherwise dreary winter day more enjoyable. Also, walking with a friend will make you more visible to motorists.

7. Try walking poles
Consider bringing walking poles on your next walk. Available through fitness and sporting goods retailers, they can aid with balance and help you burn more calories.

Friends hugging           For days when the weather is  too unpleasant, think about activities you can do indoors, like going to an aerobics class, playing table tennis or just walking around your house. 
        If you stay active throughout the winter, you can maintain—or improve—your fitness level and be ready for fun activities in the spring.
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