Do not underestimate the power of working out at home during winter

Dont stop exercising just because its cold and dark outside. Picture: PA

Dont stop exercising just because its cold and dark outside. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

If you like your sleep, then November is a great time of year.

With the clocks having gone back an hour – the days are now getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. On the flipside, it just makes getting up in the morning that much harder! Bring back the summer, right?!?

It is pretty safe to say that it is not really the most conducive time of year for staying fit and healthy.

It tends to be only those who are really dedicated who survive and maintain their current pattern of exercising and eating well.

The majority of others who started exercising in the spring and summer months will just stop what they are doing – and who can blame them? It's cold and dark outside!

I know plenty of people like this, but I am seeing increasing numbers of people bucking the trend.

For those who were exercising to get better for a sport of any kind, you will have to face up to the reality that you are going to have go outside at some point to continue your progress in the dark. There shouldn't be any worries though – all you have to do is put a couple of extra layers on and you will soon warm up after you get going.

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Oh, and it's probably worth investing in a head torch if you live out in the sticks like me where lighting is hard to come by. Safety is paramount after all! I really think that the councils around here need to do more with street lighting – there are a lot of streetlights I run past that are switched off in the evening when it would be handy to actually have them in use. For those who just are not into sports, why not just exercise in the comfort of your own home? You could even have the TV on while you do it.

A lot of you underestimate the power of working out at home.

A lot of people I have come across think that to be fit and healthy, you have to run a marathon every day – it really doesn't have to be like that.

What we do not realise is that using our own body weight can be as effective (and in most cases more effective) as running.

Sure, the first few sessions will be hard and you will probably be sore for the first couple of days – but that happens when you try any new exercise regime. The important thing here with health and fitness is to maintain some kind of continuity and consistency.

The thing I am keen to avoid and trying to help you with here is the traditional winter weight gain. Most will try to blame any weight gain on Christmas.

The truth is that most weight gain will start well before the festive period and that is due in part to not maintaining activity levels and eating a bit more food than you normally would day to day.

I've also noticed that a lot of men and women become susceptible to comfort eating in the autumn and winter. They get in from work and they just want to curl up on the sofa, watch the TV and go through that can of Pringles they have on the side.

These are additional calories you simply do not need – you're not alone (I can be vulnerable when a can of Pringles are around). I mentioned earlier about exercising in front of the TV. Let me give you a basic workout you can do whilst you're watching Corrie or EastEnders (see left).

Don't let yourself get sucked into the trap of winter weight gain. Don't be like the rest of the population – strive to be different. You can even stay in the warm to do so.


Complete a full circuit of the below exercises (no rest between exercises), resting for one minute at the end. Repeat 3/4/5 times.

• Bodyweight Squats x10

• Press Up x8 (do them on your knees if you cannot do a full one)

• Plank - hold for as long as possible

• Crunches x12 - remember to only lift your shoulders off the floor

• Jumping Jacks x15

Josh Mann is a local health, fitness and nutrition expert. He will be writing about all things weight loss, fad diets – what foods you should be eating and how to get yourself in the best shape possible.