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This article was written in conjunction with a partnership with BCBSM's A Healthier Michigan

When you're tight on time and the weather isn’t cooperating, it could be easy to put off exercise until springtime. But sticking to a regular fitness routine is critical, if you want to stay in shape and maintain your health. Just remember the effort that you put into your health and fitness over the summer; it’d be a shame to undo your hard work by sitting around feeling tired and lethargic all winter. There are plenty of ways to prevent weight gain and stay active in winter, and this is a fun routine you could do without leaving your home!

When you look outside this time of year, do you get excited about bundling up to go exploring, or would you rather cuddle up with a good book by the fireplace, sipping on chai and giggling at the thought of crazy people outside in the snow? The truth is, ANYONE can learn to love the season they’re experiencing in Michigan—it’s just a matter of dressing appropriately for the weather, and knowing where to find the adventures!

I have never been a small girl and have struggled with my body image since I was very young. One would think by age thirty-nine I would have outgrown my body insecurities; unfortunately, that is not the case. The kicker is I am stronger and more fit then I have ever been in my life, but with three kids comes extra stretch marks and the dreaded “mom belly.” 

Angela Topp experienced one of those proverbial “fork in the road” moments in her 20s that shaped the eco-retail landscape of West Michigan, more specifically Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids. “Something happened to me and I started to rethink my entire future. I had to change my lifestyle. I had to make big change. Then I bought a worm bin…” Angela snickered.

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