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Don't Let Bad Weather Derail Your Fitness Plans
In Rain, Sleet, Snow or Wind, Exercise Can Go On

Play in the rain!
Play in the rain!

When the weather turns bad, it can be tough to get motivated for a workout. Here are nine things you can do to keep on track.

Wear your workout clothes to bed. Within reason! If you exercise first thing in the morning, it can be tough getting out of a warm bed and into your workout gear. But if you wake up and you're already dressed, it's one less excuse you can make.

Do something that works with the weather. In the middle of a hot summer, take up swimming in a pool. During the fall when it's cool, try running while enjoying the changing leaves. Winter is a great time to take up cross country skiing or ice skating. When spring rains start, use it as a training environment for a mud run.

If you've never heard of a mud run, just imagine a race, through an obstacle course designed by a twisted drill sergeant that you need to complete with a TEAM. They're held all over the country and you can find ones happening near you on websites like mudruns.net.

Plan activities at the office. During lunch or on a break, run up and down some stairs. Walk around the block. If you have an office, close the door and shadow box. Do situps, pushups and jumping jacks. Even short five-minute workouts can make you more alert and give you more energy.

Go directly from work to the gym. When it's dreary outside, it's easy to go home from work, prop your feet up and forget about exercise. But if you bring your gear to work and go to the gym as soon as you're done for the day, you avoid the "comfort trap" your home may provide.

Join an indoor sports league and change your focus from "working out" to "playing a game." Basketball, volleyball, racquetball, squash, tennis and dodgeball can all provide great cardio benefits. Many leagues also provide instruction so you can improve your skills. Plus there's the thrill of victory if your team wins!

Go outside and play. Remember how excited you were to join your friends when you were young? You didn't care what the weather was doing. Grab your kids (or borrow some from your friends) and take them out during a rainstorm to jump in the puddles. Build a snowman in the winter and rake together a pile of leaves you can run through in the fall.

Play in the rain.
Play in the rain.

Buy appropriate clothes for the season. You change your regular clothes depending on how hot or cold it is, you should have the same options for your exercise gear. After all, you wouldn't think of wearing a winter coat in summer or shorts in the middle of a winter cold snap would you? When it's cold, think about dressing in layers and keeping your hands, feet and ears warm. When it's hot, make sure you're protected from sunburn. And in the dark, wear lights and reflective gear. Having the right clothing on hand helps cut back on the excuses.

Have some home-based workout options for when leaving the house just isn't a good idea. There are dozens of workout programs you can watch on TV, download to your computer or watch on a video game console. Get some basic equipment like a suspension trainer, resistance bands, a jump rope, an exercise matt, a Swiss ball or a couple light weights to make things more challenging.

Wash your hands or sanitize them more frequently. Bad weather doesn't cause colds. What bad weather does is keep people indoors and closer to each other so you're more likely to pass around germs. Washing your hands will make you less likely to get sick and derail your fitness goals. A little tip: You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to kill the majority of germs. That's just long enough to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice or two verses from "I Feel Pretty."

What motivation will you choose?

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.