BETHANY, Mo. – Don’t drop your exercise routine when the temperatures drop, says University of Missouri Extension nutrition and health education specialist Janet Hackert.

You may need to modify your activities and dress, but continue to exercise, Hackert says. She quotes her MU Extension colleague, Steve Ball: “Some is better than none, more is better than some and too much is difficult to get.”

Outdoor activities such walking, running or skiing, chopping wood or having a snowball fight are options, Hackert says. Be alert to temperatures and wind chill and take breaks to warm up or dry off as needed. Dress in layers and protect hands, feet, head and face.

If you can’t get outside, consider walking on a treadmill or using other exercise equipment. Walk stairs, work out with a DVD or online video, or go to the gym. Malls and large stores are free, safe choices during inclement weather, but remember that browsing aisles of merchandise doesn’t count as “moderate” aerobic activity.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise in 30-minute intervals over five days or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in a minimum of 20-minute intervals over three days.

It’s wise to check with a health professional before beginning or changing any exercise routine. And don’t forget to warm up to avoid injury and improve flexibility. Major muscle-tendon groups should be stretched at least 60 seconds per group.

For more information on exercising in the winter, contact Janet Hackert at 660-425-6434 or [email protected].

For information from MU Extension on fitness and nutrition, including feature articles, quick tips and learning opportunities, go to

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