We know from personal experience that exercise regimes can wane at this time of year. A jog, walk or swim that might have seemed so appealing on bright, mild summer evenings can suddenly feel like The Worst Idea In The World when the clocks go back and the frost sets in.
But you don’t have to let it all go for the next six months. Keeping fit during the dark half of the year can still be fun and fulfilling. Here’s how to stay motivated.
Mix it up
British winters can be cold, dark and wet. But they can also be peppered with surprisingly bright, crisp days. Make the most of precious winter sunshine by getting out for a walk, jog or bike ride. Vitamin D from the sunlight, happy hormones generated by the exercise and the soothing presence of nature will all help clear the winter blues.
But don’t feel guilty for not exercising outside when the weather’s grim. Accept that you might not be able to work out in the way you want to during the worst of the winter, and that what matters most is that you’re working out at all.
Join the club
Having said that, for experienced runners and cyclists it can be the dark evenings rather than the weather that is most off putting about exercising outside. If you’re a little wary about exercising after dark then why not join a running or cycling club? That way you can exercise all year round in the safety and security of a group. Working out with others is also a great way to stay motivated.
The other option is to simply exercise indoors. There are a number of ways to achieve this and many of them have nothing to do with joining a gym.
Simplest of all, why not use your own house as a workout arena? Running upstairs is one of the best aerobic exercises you can get. Use furniture and walls for squats, press-ups and dips. Even vigorous housework has been shown to burn plenty of calories, so get out that Hoover!
In fact, the NHS has devised a series of ten minute workout regimes for the home, so take a look.
Alternatively, look into exercise classes at your local leisure centre. If you’re not sure whether they’re right for you try a drop-in or taster session where you can give the class a go without committing for the long term.
Or try a new (and indoor) sport. From Badminton to five-a-side football, there are lots of fun sports that only happen inside.
Jump the winter away
Finally, why not check out the exercise classes available at Jump Nation? Research has found that trampolining can be a more effective exercise than jogging, and has the added advantage of being easier on joints and limbs.
What’s more, with all the fun trampoline park features at Jump Nation, it doesn’t feel like exercise at all. So it really is win-win. You’ll have a fabulous time and a fabulous workout to boot.