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Exercise Outdoors in a Winter Wonderland

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Try these tips to enjoy cold-weather workouts

When crisp fall weather turns to bitter winter cold, it's tempting to huddle up inside with a cup of cocoa and wait for warmer days to return. But there's no reason cold weather should stop your exercise routine, or even drive you indoors. There's plenty of frosty fun in outdoor winter exercise.

The folks at WebMD recommend you give winter sports a go. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and snowshoeing all offer cardiovascular and strength benefits, with a great calorie burn. They're also suitable for any workout personality, whether you prefer to go it alone or exercise with buddies.

If you're looking for something less adventuresome, you can also stick to your usual routines, such as walking, running and even cycling. And don't discount the health benefits of snowball fights, sledding, shoveling snow and building snowmen. Anything that gets you moving helps your fitness.

The experts at the Mayo Clinic do advise that you take some simple precautions to avoid illness or injury when exercising in chilly weather, particularly when the temperatures dip to extremes. Before you head outside for a cold-weather workout, remember:

With these simple tips you can enjoy a safe, fun outdoor workout routine, whatever the weather.

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