Even the most determined of fitness fanatics finds it hard to stick to their routine as the winter weather sets in. Rain, ice, wind and a general desire to be cosy at all times make exercise less and less desirable as the weeks go on.
Rather than giving up and retreating to the couch until the first signs of spring, follow our advice for staying fit in colder weather. With a few simple adjustments to your goals and routine, it'll be easier than you think to stay on top of things this winter!
1. Fit exercise into your day
If you're sitting at a computer all day and heading straight home to dinner and TV, you'll soon notice a drop in energy levels. Beat the sluggishness by building exercise into your daily routine – take the stairs whenever possible, go for a stroll on your lunch break, and if the weather isn't too bad, walk home from work or get off the bus earlier than usual. It all adds up – just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is all that's needed to keep things ticking over.
2. Get a short-term gym membership
If you're used to running or cycling outside, it might be worth considering joining a gym for the winter months. Most gyms offer good short term or month-by-month deals. As well as being able to run and cycle indoors on the cardio machines, you'll also have access to classes and trainers.
3. Jump in the pool
A morning or evening swim at your local pool is a great way to stay flying fit without having to brave the elements. Just make sure you wrap up warm afterwards and try to avoid going outside with your hair still wet.
4. Try a fitness DVD
Don't worry, not every exercise DVD will have you doing star jumps in your sitting room, cheered on by a platinum blonde lady in neon pink gym wear. There are some brilliant high-intensity yoga and Pilates DVDs on the market that'll get you fit and toned without ever having to leave the house. Do some research online beforehand to find the right one for you.
5. Reward yourself
Have something to look forward to after dragging yourself out of bed at 7am for a run in the freezing cold. Maybe it's a delicious coffee from your favourite café or a hot bowl of porridge with all of your favourite toppings. However small your reward, it'll go a long way towards keeping you motivated!