Elisa Shackelton: Stay committed to year-round fitness

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— With the trees quickly losing their leaves and the nights getting colder, it's a great time to light a fire, make a cup of cocoa and snuggle with your family.

But, don't let the chilly air cool your commitment to fitness. Avoid getting into a fall/winter rut that sets your health back. Instead, make a smooth transition into colder weather by committing yourself to being physically and mentally fit on a year-round basis.

Get the right clothing

It may be cold outside, but taking a walk or a jog doesn't have to leave you frozen. Dig out your warm clothes and accessories, or visit a local sporting goods store for the latest in fitness fashion. New high-tech fabrics pull sweat away from your skin to keep you warm.

Try out something new

Winter is the perfect time to take an exercise class. If you haven't tried yoga, Pilates, or spinning, give it a go. You'll be exercising your mind and your body.

Use technology

Research shows that music stimulates our bodies and focuses our minds. Move to your favorite music, or exercise with instructional videos. Dust off your exercise equipment, replace the batteries and set some new goals for yourself.

Turn off the TV

Television is a big temptation when it's cold outside. Set a limit for your viewing time or get rid of it altogether.

Think of all the books you could read, craft projects you could finish, fish you could catch, games you could play with the kids and closets you could clean out.

Tune up

For a real splurge, sign up for personal training sessions to fine-tune your existing workout.

Take time

Don't forget to reward yourself for your persistence, but instead of indulging in holiday treats, keep yummy fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grain snacks on hand. Or do something good for your muscles - a professional massage can relax a body that's stiff from the cold.

For more information, call Elisa at the CSU Moffat County Extension Office, 539 Barclay St., at 824-9180.

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