Temperatures are still cold, the winds are ferocious, and the ground remains covered with snow.

All of those conditions make it a difficult time to stay fit, but help may be just around the corner to combat the winter blues.

As of March 1, the Palmerton Fitness Center will introduce a "Couch to 5K" program three nights a week at the center.

At that point, the 10-week program will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 8:30 a.m.

The purpose of the program is to train people to be able to finish a 5k, or 3.1-mile, race, said Julie Reichl, manager/certified personal trainer.

"It's for people who never ran before," Reichl said. "You may actually even enjoy running."

Reichl said the program will explain how to prepare to walk and run. She said training, nutrition and stretching tips will be shared as well.

The program is open to the community free of charge. No pre-registration is necessary. Anyone with questions may contact the fitness center at 610-826-2300.

The Palmerton Fitness Center is open 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7-2 on Saturday, and 7-noon on Sunday.