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Beat the winter blues with activities

(ARA) If the winter doldrums are an annual occurrence, you may want to examine your exercise habits during past seasons. Exercise can make you feel better by releasing chemicals that make you feel good, reducing chemicals that can worsen depression and increasing your body temperature, which may have calming effects, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also help you cope with any negative feelings in a positive way. So if you're trying to find a way to be more active, here are some places you could start:
  • Get some warm active clothes. It's easy to get discouraged if you always feel cold when you go outside, but if you find the right attire, the cold's bite will be less severe. It may seem like common sense, but it's easy to forget some of these key items: warm gloves, warm boots or outdoor shoes that offer active comfort and good traction, warm socks, nice gloves and a balaclava, neck-warmer or scarf.
  • Find new and interesting outdoor activities. If you live in an area with snow, pursue a snow activity you haven't tried in the past. Snowshoeing is a fun and inexpensive way to get out and enjoy nature in winter and people of all ages and fitness levels can do it. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with alpine or Nordic skiing, or even good old-fashioned ice skating.
  • Embrace winter chores. Shoveling snow might seem like a pain, but it's also a great workout. Or if your driveway is too large, consider whether an all-terrain vehicle with a plow system like the Sportsman 400 by Polaris might offer better value. A utility ATV could also accompany you on other active pursuits like trail riding, hunting or fishing expeditions.
  • Look for deals on gym memberships. If you're still looking to avoid the cold at all costs, try finding a deal on a membership that will waive your joiner's fee or offer a special for new members.
By maintaining your physical activity level throughout the year, you'll have an easier time staying fit and avoiding the blues.

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