When the nights are cold and dark, the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is exercise.
According to new research from leisure operator Better, more than half of us (58 per cent) are deterred from exercising because of the cold weather, with 32 per cent saying dark nights put them off.
The survey of 2,000 respondents showed that 31 per cent of Brits took up exercising for the first time in their lives when the pandemic forced us into lockdown.
But how can you stay motivated when the warm sofa and Netflix is determined to keep you lazing at home?
Team GB triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay, says that going out in very cold, wet weather could be more detrimental to your training than a positive. She suggested planning sessions around the weather.
Here are some top tips from Lucy and other fitness fanatics for staying active on these cold, dark nights:
Phone a friend
“Although you may not be able to train in the real world with other people, why not try setting an online training meet up with a friend?” asked Lucy.
“You will have a strong reason to make sure the session happens and you can push each other as well as have a great time catching up with a friend.”
Be too warm
Jake Sheaf, a member of Team GB’s Beach Volleyball team, said: “I like to layer up with lots of layers, woolly hat, gloves and a snood.
“I would rather be sweating lots and keeping my body temperature up high that be on the verge of being cold and potentially risk injury.”
Expand your kit
“Get a skipping rope and a kettlebell!” Jake suggests. “That’s all I have, and you can get very creative with your workouts.
“You are able to build strength whilst working on your cardio with these 2 pieces of kit.
Don’t feel guilty for taking time off
Alex Harrison, fitness instructor for Better, said: “You’re going to have days where you’re just not feeling it – don’t let them bother you!
“We all have ups-and-downs in everything, including exercising – so embrace the day off but re-focus on your goals and the reason you want to get active, and use that refocused energy to get back to it when you can.”
“I saw the other day that Davina McCall’s favourite exercise is burpees,” says Alex. “She must be mad!
“In my home HIIT workouts I love mountain climbers or single-leg burpees – though my friends who join me on video calls for a home workout less so!
“They’re great because they don’t need any equipment and they’re challenging enough to wipe me out after a few rounds of HIIT.”
Workout for you, and no one else
Alex said: “I always re-centre my reasons for exercising – which is for myself, so that I live a healthy lifestyle.
“I have to remind myself that it’s not for short-term ‘ticks in boxes’, but rather to help me continue a long and healthy life into the future.
“Remember why it is you’re wanting to get active and put that thought front and centre.”