When it's pitch black and freezing cold for a large majority of the day, finding the motivation to exercise can be extremely difficult.
All we really want to do is snuggle up on the sofa and binge watch TV with a cuppa.
But with Christmas parties and events rapidly approaching we all want to feel our best, so motivation needs to be found somewhere.
Kerry Lambe, a fitness expert from an East Midlands country club, has revealed her top tips to motivate yourself this time of year.
Realistically, you are unlikely to be able to lose much weight or make that much of a difference to your appearance in just a few weeks. That said, you will get a head start on your New Year resolutions.
1. Create realistic goals
Creating a long-term goal is essential, such as losing a certain amount of weight, gaining muscle mass, or maintaining what you’ve already achieved.
But this will require you to work towards smaller milestones along the way, such as achieving ten push-ups or exercising three days a week.
2. Stay hydrated
Even though the temperature is dropping, it is still crucial to keep hydrated, especially in attempting any training routine. You should consume at least two litres of water per day, despite not breaking as much of a sweat in the heat.
Diet can also be a factor to dehydration with 20% of our solid foods contributing to our daily water intake. To gain results, diet will be even more important than your exercise routine, especially with the holidays and celebrations during the cooler months.
Alcohol and unhealthy party foods can cause havoc on your energy levels and dehydrate your body further, so try to keep those types of food and drink to a minimum.
3. Break your mobile addiction
Common fitness challenges are mostly mental as opposed to physical. Constant exposure to numerous distractions makes it hard to retain your mental motivation.
The greatest hurdle in beginning your fitness journey is often getting to the gym and rationalising ripping yourself from your cosy bed, whilst you scroll through your friends’ latest social updates.
Smartphones also emit something called ‘blue light’, which tricks our brain into thinking it is daytime no matter the hour, inhibiting you from getting a good night’s rest. Sleep allows your body to recover and repair the muscles you worked during exercise, which is vital in giving you the strength you need for your next workout.
4. Embrace the chill
Dark, cold mornings and early evenings make it extremely hard to convince your body to brave the chill and get working out.
So for the winter months take your workout indoors. Hit the gym, go for a swim, do a home workout or attend a class - anything where you don't have to spend long periods of time outside in cold weather.
5. Try something new
Many gyms and leisure clubs will offer a wide range of classes, which helps to throw in an element of fun.
Joining a class is a great opportunity to get inspired, meet new people, and maybe even have a laugh whilst you reach your goal.
If you view fitness as a chore, it will feel like one, so find your zen in yoga, dance like nobody’s watching during Zumba, or get empowered with a CrossFit class. Trying new things and changing your exercises allows you to target different muscles, challenging your body instead of reaching a plateau during your fitness journey.
6. Find a gym buddy
Joining efforts with a friend will make it harder to bail on your workout plans. Recruiting a friend to join you is a great chance to squeeze in a catch-up and make your workout more enjoyable.
Alternatively, you could find a buddy in your personal trainer, who will also hold you accountable to your fitness goals.