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Fitness expert: Exercise when the sun is out

You may want to think twice about trying to get in a run before the sun comes up or after you've returned home from work. Experts say that heading out for a jog in the dark may have a negative impact on the body and could actually make you less healthy, SecondAct.com reports.

One of the biggest opponents to the practice is fitness professional Ellen Barrett, who feels as though exercising when it's dark out could damage your immune system.  She points to the fact that most people can stay active longer during the spring and summer, when there's more daylight. However, going out for a jog or a walk everyday at 6 p.m. in November may leave you feeling more drained than in previous months.

"It's a really fine line between irritation and invigoration," Barrett, who has released more than 20 fitness videos, told the website. "In spring and summer, we are meant to be more physical because of the longer and warmer days."

Barrett seems to be advocating shutting everything down during the colder months, but there are alternatives to forcing yourself to go for a run at a time of day that may seem unnatural. Trying to find an hour during the day to get a workout in or focusing on getting out on weekends can be a suitable alternative to running at night.

Baby boomers who are hoping to stay active as they age may want to heed Barrett's advice, and there are a number of other steps you can take to enjoy exercising in retirement. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, one of the best things you can do to avoid getting injured is to have a balanced approach that includes cardio, strength training and flexibility workouts.

Homeowners at Sun City Hilton Head won't have any issues getting in a wide variety of exercises thanks to the retirement community's  Purrysburg Fitness Center. The facility features a number of state-of-the-art amenities including a aerobics studio and five pools. Residents can also take advantage of the miles of walking trails and exercise stations offered at the community.  

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