KING Lifewise 11-12-13 KING

All through the summer and fall, we've learned great ways to get fit and stay healthy, with help from ActivelyNorthwest.com, powered by LifeWise Health Plans of Washington. Now, as the days get shorter, darker and colder, we may be tempted to take a break from our fitness routine and indulge in a bowl of mac 'n cheese or other comfort food. Ariana Kukors, Olympic swimmer and LifeWise's Director of Health Inspiration, joined Margaret to share simple ways to keep winter workouts on track, no matter how cold and rainy it gets.

Ariana also shared a fun way to share your workouts and photos with others. Add the hashtag #ActivelyNW to your Twitter or Instagram posts to be featured on Actively Northwest. They're profiling their favorite captures generated by you as part of their new series, Living #ActivelyNW.

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Here are more of Ariana's tips:

Start early - One of the only real benefits to falling back is that the sun rises slightly earlier, meaning you may have more time to run or ride before work. A morning run in daylight is much easier than motivating yourself to go later, in the dark, at the end of a long day. Try to wake up with just enough time to do a 30-minute outdoor workout of your choice.

Check the hourly forecast - On most drizzly days, there's usually a small window of opportunity to squeeze in a semi-dry run. If your schedule is flexible, check your weather forecast the day before you're supposed to run (or that same morning) and try to plan accordingly. Here are additional tips for people who are preparing to run or bike in the rain.

Dress for the weather - Whether you're a runner or a biker, there are a few easy clothing items and accessories you can add to make running or riding safe and waterproof.

Brighten up - Neon apparel is back! Good thing, too. Embracing those neon jackets, shirts, gloves and hats will help keep you safer on the road. Studies have shown that drivers do notice certain shades of neon sooner than duller, darker workout apparel. Here are additional tips to safely work out when it's dark outside.

Invest in a water-resistant jacket - Water-resistant jackets are a must. They're more breathable than waterproof jackets and they won't start leaking until after 30 to 45 minutes in the rain.

Dry off properly - Post-run, fill your wet shoes with newspaper, which will help soak up the water and let them dry overnight. As for clothes, do not stick water-resistant jackets in the dryer! Follow specific care instructions on the labels, but most durable water finishes will get stripped or deactivated in the dryer.

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