Moving through the winter months

Moving through the winter months

Fitness expert Sarah Cowley Ross helps to keep us moving when the days are short and the nights are long.

For most, exercising in winter can be a bit of a struggle. I’m not immune to this battle, but I know that making exercise a priority is essential for my physical and mental health, especially on shorter and colder days.

Ensure your fitness journey is a consistent one, rather than a sprint in the summer sun, with these winning tips:


Have the right gear and layer up. I’m not afraid to leave the house looking like the Michelin Man to work out, and then return carrying an armful of clothes. Try putting your activewear in the dryer or near the heater to keep you warm from the get-go (safety first!).


In the winter months, a change in the type of exercise you do may provide refreshing motivation to keep going. If you’re an early-rising exerciser, but don’t like the dark in the winter, think about having a quick walk or doing a spin class at lunchtime.

Try something new

Have you ever tried Bikram Yoga or hot Pilates? They are not for everyone but are a great way to get warm, challenge yourself and provide personal growth through winter. Have the flexibility to try a different type of exercise to keep you motivated and inspired to move.

Find your buddy

Being accountable to an exercise partner can keep you going through the cooler months. Find someone through your work, personal or social networks who has similar fitness goals, and lock in a time on a weekly basis to exercise together.

Be kind to yourself

If you’re feeling unwell, adapt your fitness plan so you don’t compromise your immune system further. But make sure you get back on track once you’re better so that you keep active during winter.

Your overall health will benefit from kind acts of exercise to yourself.

Always remember your ‘why?’

This will get you out the door and moving mountains no matter the temperature. You owe it to yourself, your family and your friends.
We all have an extra minute in the day to be active and, in doing so, give our metabolic system a boost.

Your step-up monthly challenge

The HFG August Challenge is designed to test you and challenge you to do better.

In one minute, how many can you do?

  • Push ups
  • Squats
  • Burpees

Every week this month try doing a one-minute challenge and see if you can improve week-to-week.

Technique can tend to fall out the window when doing timed exercise. To avoid injury, we need to be aware of our form. When squatting, position a low chair underneath you that you lightly touch with your bottom, so you know what depth to go to. Use this challenge with your family to encourage everyone to be active – it’s very easy to do in your lounge!

First published: Aug 2019

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