Take care to bundle up when hitting the jogging trail in the winter. File photo

Take care to bundle up when hitting the jogging trail in the winter. File photo

Some ways to stay healthy and active in the winter season

POULSBO — Wondering how to stay active and fit during winter?

Here are a few ideas to help you get off the couch and out and about despite cold winter weather.

Mall walking: When walking outdoors just isn’t an option, try doing laps inside your local shopping mall. The average person can burn 300 to 400 calories in one brisk one-hour walk — while window shopping in the process. During the evening hours, when it starts to get dark, you don’t have to worry about getting run over — except maybe by a mall cop on a Segway. Take it up a notch by walking up the escalators.

Dancing: Aerobic dance can burn upwards of 443 calories per hour. And, yes, sweaty Saturday night dance parties totally count. So take the opportunity to “get jiggy with it.” Afraid you don’t have the moves? Practice around the house while vacuuming.

Active TV watching: Don’t want to miss your favorite show? Try jogging, skipping or doing crunches during the commercials. On cable TV, the average length of commercial time per hour is nearly 16 minutes, according to tvweek.com. With the average commercial lasting between 15 to 30 seconds, make a five-circuit rotation of floor exercises to keep your body healthy while your program takes a break.

Home workouts: Spend the winter with Jillian Michaels or Billy Blanks this season. Purchase a workout DVD or, better yet, rent a few from your local library to find your perfect fit. These also make great travel companions to pair with your laptop on a weekend getaway.

Park in the back: Have to brave the elements to run to the grocery store or make that appointment in town? Plan to leave 10-15 minutes earlier and take advantage of parking farther away. Pick up an extra 500 to 1,000 steps and enjoy the brisk walk to the building — and avoid the stress of finding the “perfect parking spot” in front.

Other ways to keep good health on your mind:

Goal setting: Always wanted to run a 5K? How about an overnight hike at a national park? Make it a reality by setting a goal for spring.

Spring is the best time to spend extended time outdoors, as the weather is mild and comfortable. Set a goal in winter, then follow through and hold yourself accountable in spring.

Keep a food journal: Mindless eating is the fastest way to pack on pounds. Try carrying an ongoing food journal to document what you’re eating and when. A simple written record could be the easiest way to see where you can cut calories or see what healthy foods you’re lacking. (Have you had your five to eight fruits and veggies today?)

Check your wardrobe: It’s too easy in the winter months to retire those jeans and opt for baggy sweaters and stretch pants.

While yoga pants and a pumpkin spice chai tea latte are winter must-haves, don’t fool yourself. Jeans and comfortably fitting shirts will also show weight gain. Better to find out gradually, rather then being unable to button those trousers come spring.

Gather friends: Gather your friends and family to make an active day or a fitness challenge. One week with no sugar perhaps, or create a winter-morning walking group. Friends make a great support network, and let’s face it, it’s always easier to do something with someone else.

Got a pup? Take Fido for a stroll; most dogs love the winter as it’s cooler on their paws and the brisk air feels good on their fur.

Get new gear: Treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes or a new sweatshirt. Find something fun that encourages you to go out and use it.

Though the winter months are chilly, take the opportunity to explore something new. There are plenty of activities to try.

Want adventure? Try snow shoeing, skiing, or snow hiking. Feeling cold? Explore hot yoga or swimming. Find that excuse to move and “run” with it.

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