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8 Winter Health Excuses, Busted

First Posted: 11/09/2011 8:58 am EST   Updated: 01/09/2012 5:12 am EST

Perhaps no season is loaded with as many potential health setbacks as winter -- shorter days, decreased light, colder weather, holiday cookies and Thanksgiving day alone can be enough to make you stay inside and give up until after the New Year.

Not so fast, says celebrity trainer Bob Greene, author of "The Life You Want," who has worked with Oprah and is currently teamed up with Phillips on a campaign to educate people about the importance of light.

"You have to make your health a priority," he says. "I'm not sure what else is more important." You wouldn't put off basic practices like brushing your teeth until January, he argues -- and the rest of your health shouldn't be on pause either.

So we rounded up some of winter's greatest health excuses and had Greene and other experts weigh in.

Excuse 1: I Like To Work Out Outside -- And It's Too Cold
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"Get a hat," Greene jokes.

Except for those times when weather is truly inclement, a brisk day can actually help you to boost calorie burn a bit, Greene says. If you're a parent, for instance, try a running stroller outside.

Added bonus: fresh air can boost your mood and up your energy, he explains.

But remember safety first: Mayo Clinic suggests checking with your doctor if you have certain conditions, such as asthma, before moving your workout outdoors -- and be sure to dress in layers, cover your hands, feet and ears, and listen for any extreme weather conditions, that really should move your workout indoors (see excuse number two).
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