Beat the Winter Fitness Blues

The thought of exercising in winter isn’t appealing to everyone. It’s darker, colder and there’s a good chance that it’s raining! Even if you do want to head to the gym, late night shopping or Christmas parties often take over instead. If you’re struggling to stay on track with a fitness regime, read on, you’ll be heading to the gym in no time!

Stay motivated and flexible

It’s important to remember the reason you started working out or training in the first place. Choosing not to train definitely won’t help with reaching a target. “Goals are key for somebody to set themselves when starting any kind of fitness programme, as if you have nothing to aim for it is very easy to get demotivated.” Set smaller short term goals if you feel like the ‘big’ goal is too far away.

Be flexible with your fitness schedule – “the dedicated [gym goers] will always find ways to exercise but their normal routine maybe disrupted, so you may see people training at different times/days or maybe attending a class they wouldn’t normally do”.

Even if you don’t have time for a visit to a fitness centre you can still fit in some exercise at home – “the only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen so even if you have 20 minutes to spare at home a quick bodyweight session will still help.”

Enjoy your fitness programme!

Also, make sure your workout or fitness plan is interesting and you actually enjoy it! “…there’s nothing worse than going to gym to carry out the same routine you have done for the last week or so. Mixing up your training should keep you interested and challenged, also it should make you want to get back in the gym to try new exercises or workouts.”

If you’re really stuck on how to change your fitness routine have a chat with one of the Bodyline fitness staff at your local Leeds leisure centre. They can help you set goals and plan a fitness programme with you to reach those targets.

For those of you who love outdoor sports but don’t feel like braving the cold, why not swap to something new? Leeds Sport facilities offer a wide variety of indoor sports, from swimming and diving to gymnastics and bowls. Squash and badminton are particularly good calorie burners. For a full list of what’s on offer in Leeds, visit

Enjoy Christmas treats…in moderation

Eating healthily through winter doesn’t mean missing out on tasty festive foods – “Christmas dinner when you break it down is quite healthy. Turkey is a lean meat packed with protein and seasonal vegetables are packed with nutrients. Try and choose healthy options when it comes to snacks such as roasted nuts not covered in chocolate or a handful of sweets and choose low fat cream for desserts.”

You needn’t miss out on the office Christmas meal either – “If you are eating out check the menu first and make your choices in advance. If it’s the time to indulge make sure you schedule a gym/fitness session in beforehand so you can earn the treats!”

What to remember –

It’s inevitable that you might not work out as much in winter, or eat as healthily, but there is often a surge of post-Christmas gym-goers who have realised the gym visits have decreased. Don’t be the one that panics – keep going!

“Remember the destination is not as important as the journey”- enjoy your fitness and believe you can achieve your goals.

Thanks to the advice provided by Curtis Ryan and Will Moore, Leeds City Council Fitness Co-ordinators.


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