T is for…. time

With the darker nights closing in, daylight hours become more important. Plan your time - try setting a specific day or time aside each week to enjoy getting active. The consistency will help you set goals and notice improvements in your fitness and energy levels.

Now is the time to make the most of the warm indoors so look what classes and memberships your local leisure facilities, community halls, sports centres, universities and health organisations have to offer. Some run new classes or reduced gym membership over Christmas and New Year.

Gyms often become busy in January, with people flocking to fulfil their New Year resolutions to get fitter, so get ahead of the game and start your gym visits now. Not only will you feel better about yourself over the festive season, you’ll be well prepared to show the crowd of inexperienced January gym-starters a thing or two when New Year calls!

Spending time with the youngsters in your family can help motivate you to get active. Whether Santa has delivered new toys for the kids, a bike for your little cousin, a puppy for your friends or a new pair of walking boots for mum and dad, take the time to get out there and active together.

E is for…. energy levels

Winter is the most common time when we feel a slump in energy levels. As our bodies work to keep the warmth locked in, they are also likely to be working overtime to fight winter colds and flu, or digest a large festive feeding - even shivering expends energy.

A lack of energy can often make us feel lethargic, dreary, or experience a lack of motivation and even depression in severe cases. Instead of retiring to the sofa like slugs, the best way to banish the slump is to get up and active.

Despite the fact that exercise expends energy, it is actually good for boosting energy levels because:

  • Exercise supplies more oxygen to the brain, resulting in greater alertness, so it won’t make you more tired. Instead, it may leave you feeling more energetic and able to cope with the demands of daily life.
  • Exercise releases adrenaline and endorphins, which increase responsiveness and provides a feeling of wellbeing. This should help you unwind and relax.

Sugary food will supply a quick fix energy boost but leave your energy levels on a downhill spiral once the supply runs out. Exercise is believed to release endorphins steadily, resulting in long-lasting effects on your energy levels.