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Stay Healthy and Active

7 Ways to Stay Healthy & Active in Pittsburgh This Winter
Sponsored by UPMC Health Plan

Trying to make those New Year's resolutions a reality? We've got you covered. Despite the winter weather in store for Pittsburgh over the next few months, there are a ton of things that you can do to stay healthy and active. Here are seven of our favorites.

1. Keep Moving

This sounds like a simple suggestion, but we often find ourselves sitting down too much during the day, whether at work or at home. At work, make a point to take the long route to the kitchen or bathroom, or incorporate more breaks into your day that get you up and walking around. At home, walk on a treadmill or lift small weights while watching TV, or switch in and out of different rooms while doing your after-holiday cleaning to help you burn calories without even realizing it! Being active for at least 150 minutes per week can lead to a reduced risk of disease and improved quality of life.

2. Try Something New

"New year, new you" is the cliché, but there's no better time than now to get out there and try something fitness-related that you've never done before. Maybe it's aerial yoga, kickboxing, or a barre class. Or maybe it's just taking a run around the neighborhood using a new route. Trying something new can be a fun way to stay fit while exploring your adventurous side, and Pittsburgh is full of beautiful places to exercise — indoors and outdoors.

3. Enjoy the Classics

New and unfamiliar activities are great, but there's something to be said about the classics, too. Go ice-skating at the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place or hit the slopes at Boyce Park this winter. Head over to Phipps Conservatory to check out the Winter Flower Show and Light Garden or wander through one of the four Carnegie museums. The walking may not seem like a major workout, but you might be surprised. Wear a pedometer or track your steps on your smartphone to see just how far you've gone. A good goal is 10,000 steps per day.

4. Think Healthy Thoughts

Reducing stress, enhancing your self-esteem, and managing your mood are just as important as maintaining physical health. Take time this winter to pamper yourself, meditate, practice mindfulness, or read motivational and inspirational books. It's the perfect time to recharge and hype yourself up for the busy spring and summer ahead.

5. Buddy Up

Why go alone? Participating in fitness-related activities with someone else can help you have more fun, and forget about how challenging the activity may be. Taking a class with your bestie? Make a day out of it by planning lunch afterwards. Looking for a couples workout? It can bring something new to your relationship. Hit the gym together or test out a dance class at Pittsburgh Dance Center in Bloomfield.

6. Check out Fittsburgh

Fittsburgh is Pittsburgh's Guide to Healthy Living. Find upcoming fitness events, read about hidden gems in the Pittsburgh area, or stay up to date on current fitness trends all in one place with Fittsburgh. If you're just stopping through, Fittsburgh can be your resource for all things food, fun, and fitness while you're in town.

7. Make it About More Than Just Exercise

You can stay active and make a difference in your community at the same time. Volunteering at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh or United Way of Allegheny County can keep you on your feet while doing something meaningful. Running a 5K like Cupid's Undie Run that helps raise funding and awareness for the Children's Tumor Foundation is another great way to pair fitness with philanthropy. Adding an additional purpose to your healthy living routine can give your life and your health greater meaning.

The city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding neighborhoods are full of events, activities, and opportunities for health and fitness all year round — whether you're a resident of the Steel City or just visiting. So why not get out there and take advantage of them! You'll be taking a step toward a healthier you. Embrace the new year by taking on the basics, trying new things, and thinking outside the box when it comes to health and physical activity.

For more tips, recipes, and health-related information, visit the UPMC Health Plan MyHealth Matters blog.