Stepping out in Routt: Don’t let motivation wane in rain

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— With the onset of fall comes cloudier and rainier weather that has the potential to threaten plans for exercise. Motivated folks with good rain gear aren’t likely to let light showers or clouds prevent them from walking. For those of you without great gear or the determination to head out when the weather is questionable, bad weather is no excuse to cancel your fitness plans. There are things you can do in your home or garage to improve your cardiovascular condition. Below is a 15 minute series of simple exercises that can substitute for a walk during inclement weather. Since the goal is to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, repeat this series twice:

■ 1 minute stretching: Raise both arms above your head. Keeping your head up and back straight, bend your knees and begin to crouch at the same time you move both hands down to touch the ground. If you are not flexible enough to reach the ground, go only as far as your body permits. As with all of the following exercises, repeat the move for the time shown.

■ 2 minutes walking: Walk forward four steps then backward four steps.

■ 2 minutes sidestepping: From standing, move your right foot one step sideways to the right. Move your left foot to join the right. Now, move your left foot one step sideways to the left (back to your original spot) and move your right foot to join it.

■ 2 minutes high knees: Walk in place, raising your knees as high as you can. Using your arms as you lift your knees will help with your balance. The left arm should come up with your right knee and vise versa.

■ 2 minutes jumping jacks: Start standing with your arms by your sides and your feet together. Jump your feet shoulder-width apart while raising your arms to the sides and above your head. Jump your feet back together and bring your arms back down to your sides. If this traditional jumping jack is too much, do the same motion but step your feet out to shoulder-width apart instead of jumping.

■ 2 minutes heel tap: From standing with your feet together move your right foot forward a step, tap your right heel and bring your right foot back to standing. Repeat with the left foot.

■ 2 minutes toe tap: From standing, move your left foot backward a step, touch your toe and bring your foot back to standing. Repeat with the right foot.

■ 2 minutes happy feet: From a standing position, alternate lifting your left foot up and back down and your right foot up and back down. Do this for 20 seconds at normal pace. Then, for 10 seconds alternate lifting each foot up and down as fast as you can. Repeat four times.

Janet Hruby writes Stepping Out in Routt on behalf of LiveWell Northwest Colorado.

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