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Four ways to live well this winter

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(BPT) - Dreaming of spring despite the cold weather outside? You’re not the only one. Many people start thinking of warmer temperatures as soon as the mercury drops. Instead of sitting inside this winter, use these tips to “think spring” so you’ll be ready when the thermometer rises again.

Try a smoothie

Nutrition has an incredible impact on wellness, and incorporating whole foods into your daily routine can help you stay fit through the winter months. A quick and easy way to begin incorporating more nutrient-packed foods into your diet is with fruit and vegetable smoothies. Try making a Fruit Salad Smoothie in your Vitamix blender to start your day. Simply toss whole fruits and vegetables into the machine, and its powerful motor will blend the mix into a smooth, on-the-go treat that tastes great and gives you natural energy. And with hundreds of great-tasting recipes available at vitamix.com, you’re sure to find a healthy smoothie for everyone in the family.

Get moving

Exercise is essential to staying healthy, especially during winter, when it’s tempting to hibernate. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, plus muscle-strengthening activities twice a week. One way to get moving while having fun is to exercise with a friend. You could join a dance or fitness class together, go hiking, cycling or cross-country skiing in a nearby park, or try rock climbing.

Even if your hectic schedule doesn’t leave much room for daily trips to the gym or local park, you can still incorporate exercise into your regular winter routine. Playing outside with your dog or kids, keeping dumbbells at your desk, walking down the hall to deliver messages in-person versus via email, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are just a few examples of how you can get moving despite inclement weather. Even doing your daily chores – like getting outside to shovel snow – is a great way to build physical fitness and endurance.

Set a goal

Planning a vacation for springtime can give you something to look forward to through the cold winter months and is great motivation for remaining committed to a healthy lifestyle. Organize an exciting adventure with your family or friends – like hiking, mountain biking or kayaking – to take your mind off the dreary weather outside and keep you inspired to stay in shape. Plus, you can find some great travel deals during the off-season.

Remember to laugh

Don’t let the overcast weather bring you down. Smiling and laughing are good for your health any time of year. Recent Stanford University research suggests that a good giggle fit can actually lower stress and act as a mini-workout. Try grabbing your friends for a game night or to watch a funny movie. Besides making you feel better, laughter is also contagious, so you just may make those around you feel better, too.

Although spring may seem light-years away, you can use these tips to help you “think spring” now and commit to a healthy winter lifestyle. That way, when the trees start to bloom and the air feels warm again, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. Try this delicious smoothie recipe to get you started.

Vitamix Fruit Salad Smoothie Recipe

Total Time: 11 minutesYield: 3 cups

Ingredients:1/2 cup red or green grapes1 medium orange, peeled, halved, seeded1/2-inch thick slice pineapple, core included1/4 cucumber, peeled1 carrot, halved1/4 medium apple, cored, seeded2 cups ice cubes

Directions

Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.  Select Variable 1. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to press the ingredients down.

Nutritional information

Per 1 cup serving: Calories: 80, Total Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 20 mg, Total Carbohydrate: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 15 g, Protein: 1 g

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