Top five tips to stay motivated this winter; by Casey McLain, Fitness and Recreation Operations Manager, YMCA North

1. Get out of the house

Winter can be a very isolating time for many of us. But humans are social beings! Get the family and friends together to try something new. Activities like cooking classes, swimming, ice skating, group fitness or social sports can all be great ways to get out of the house.

2. Eat different colours

When it’s cold and dark it can be very tempting to skip fruits and vegetables mostly in favour of high-calorie comfort foods. Bring an overall balance by experimenting with a variety of winter vegetables like carrots, broccoli, broad beans, peas and leeks. Mix and mash these into a blender to make yourself a delicious nutritious soup.

3. Get enough sleep

People who get less than the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep per night are more likely to get sick. Snuggle up between an electric blanket and a nice duvet to recharge your batteries every night and keep your body running at 100%.

4. Raise your Vitamin D levels

Vitamin D plays a key role in heart health, skin health, immunity and mental health. Don’t worry you don’t need supplements or sun exposure to get more Vitamin D. Try to include more exercise, baked fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks or this one's my partner’s favourite - Greek yoghurt.

5. Stay active

I often feel like I’m meant to stay in bed when it’s miserable outside. But research shows that consistently getting a small amount of exercise (around 30 mins per day) can help boost immunity, improve your mental wellbeing and help to manage stress. Make a commitment in your calendar and stick to it. Do it together for increased accountability and motivation.