Does the thought of winter make you want to reach for the duvet only to re-emerge once the cheek biting frost, dark mornings and January blues have passed? You’re not the only one. Colder-times- are-a-coming, question is, are you ready for them? No, I’m not talking about a winter coat and an 11.5 tog duvet – though they do help – what I really mean is, are you prepared to keep up your current fitness routine through the coldest, darkest months of the year? Listen up, Hip & Healthies, now is the time to form a plan because when things get freezing, you sure are going to need one.

First things first, be positive. There are many, many benefits to working out in winter such as a faster metabolic rate as your body works harder to counteract the cold and maintain its core temperature, not to mention glowing skin as a result of increased circulation. What’s more, you’re fending off that sluggish feeling we often experience in January when a month of festivities finally catch up with us. Have a list of positives to hand to keep you motivated.

Just can’t face the cold? Online classes might be your saviour. Head to Barrecore for a great selection of online videos. Each class costs £4 but you are guaranteed to feel the burn without leaving the house. Otherwise, your body weight is all you need for an effective, at-home workout; think burpees, press ups, lunges, lateral hops – YouTube has a wealth of material you can access for free!

Combat winter blues with dance. We all know that smiling can instantly lift our mood and chances are that when you’re dancing- however unsuccessfully- you’re smiling too. Zumba is a good place to start or, if you’re feeling extra brave, why not try a Beyoncé themed twerk class by All Twerk and No Play? Head to www.wearetbc.com for further details.

Get walking! As much as we love a high intensity workout, brisk winter walks have an added air of romance this time of year (cheesy, I know). Why not gather everyone together for some collective leaf crunching underfoot. Wellies recommended.

Lift your workout and your mood with fresh winter gear. If you keep reaching for the same pair of leggings time and time again, now’s the time to treat yourself to something new as a way of spicing up a workout. The brighter the better so you’re easier to spot when the sun goes down. Shop our wide selection of activewear right here on Hip & Healthy! 

Take care of yourself both inside and out. Arm yourself with the following winter care kit: lip balm, moisturiser with an SPF (those pesky UV rays still pass through clouds you know) and hand cream as well as the essentials: gloves, a hat and scarf and maybe even a vest or two. You also want to make sure you nourishing your body with lots of natural, vitamin enriched foods to help boost your immunity.

Get some vitamin D. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it’s no surprise that most of us are deficient this time of year. Dr Emma Derbyshire reports that “The option of using sunlight to create vitamin D  is practically non-existent for five months of the year  – and limited to just four to five hours each day in the summer” – eek. Worry not as there are various ways to up your intake, either with supplements or with good quality, locally sourced red meat.

As the saying goes, failure to plan is planning to fail. Print off a monthly calendar and note down your exercise routine for the whole month – whether it’s a full body workout or a five minute session – head over to Sweaty Betty’s get-fit-4-free for heaps of ideas. Good luck!

words by Alexandra Salisbury