Don't let the winter months stop you from getting activeThe least favoured of the four seasons, the winter months bring with them darker days, blustery spells, and cold snaps – enough to consign even the most committed of active enthusiasts indoors.

And the moment the cold hits, activity levels take a battering as hoards huddle indoors for a season long hibernation. But with government guidelines advising us that all adults should have at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least five days per week, there’s no time for shutdown.

It might seem like the weather is conspiring against you, but with some careful planning and a little extra effort, the end of summer needn’t spell the end of your exercise regime.

And to help you avoid the winter pitfalls and keep your spirits in active mode, the Sports Council for Wales have compiled a seasonal guide to surviving the longest and coldest months of the year….

W is for….winter blues

Not only will getting active help ward off unwanted weight gain over the winter months, it will improve your energy levels, help to alleviate depression and the onset of any winter blues through the production of extra mood lifting endorphins – enough to brighten anyone’s outlook.

Taking part in regular physical activity can improve the way you look and feel. In combination with a balanced diet, it can help to maintain a healthy weight, boost self-confidence, relieve stress and reduce the risk of depression.

Just remember to keep your inner heat bottled up and you’re good to go.

  • 50% of the heat lost when outdoors in the cold is from the head, so wear a hat to trap in your body heat.
  • Wear several layers of clothing which will allow sweat to pass through, while at the same time keeping warmer dry air trapped close to the skin.
  • Wear gloves and an extra pair of socks.
  • Stay hydrated. Even though you don’t sweat as much in cold weather you’re still perspiring. Drink lots of water before and after working out to replenish fluids.