Exercise to keep winter blues at bay

Cold weather might make you feel like hibernating, but you don’t have to give up your exercise and fitness goals. You can exercise indoors.

Focus on how you’ll benefit if you keep up your exercise routine throughout the cold-weather season. Exercise can help shake those winter blues. It improves your mood, increases your energy level and helps you sleep better. And you’ll be in better shape when the weather warms up.

Try to set aside 30 minutes or more on most days of the week for physical activity. It doesn’t have to be all in one stretch.

You can work it in a little here or there. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous.

Make a workout of household cleaning. Take the stairs. Go sledding. For extra motivation, work out with your spouse or a friend.

Exercise indoors — Choose activities that won’t leave you in the cold

Don’t let cold weather sidetrack your exercise routine. Get creative!

• Walk at the mall. The hardest part about mall or indoor-track walking is getting there. Once you get started, you may be amazed at how quickly you finish your workout.

• Join a health club. Choose one that’s convenient and geared toward your fitness level. Ask the staff to show you how to use the equipment.

• Make a splash at an indoor pool. Working out in water is easy on your joints. Try lap swimming or a water aerobics class.

Invest in home exercise equipment. Choose something that’s practical, enjoyable and easy to use. To stretch your exercise dollars, consider buying used equipment.