We're all feeling the winter chill, but is it making you run for the doona and heater instead of the gym? If so, you could be doing more damage than you think.
While the winter months are often the hardest time of the year to get motivated when it comes to losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight or even just exercising for fun, statistics show that it's the best time of year to get moving.
A study by the NICHD Information Resource Centre in the US found that the extra weight gained over the winter period accumulates through the years and may be a major contributor to obesity later in life.
So how do you overcome the big winter chill?
Despite a recent study commissioned by Kellogg's finding that 78 percent of Australian woman exercise less during winter and that 59 percent of woman blamed the cold weather for their lack of exercise, The Biggest Loser trainer Michelle Bridges says it's not as hard as it seems.
"I believe winter is actually the best time to train because you can set yourself up to be looking and feeling your best for spring, and then you can enjoy summer socialising knowing that you've put the hard work in over the cooler months," she says.
"Make winter training a project to help you stay motivated — set yourself some goals, rework your training regime by getting a personal trainer to help you and get some winter training outfits to keep the cold at bay."
While we may try to keep up our winter work-outs, the reality is we can all have a bad day or a bad week, where we just can't bring ourselves to brave the cold. So, Michelle says it's okay to miss a work-out, but it's important to get back into it straight away.
"The key here is consistency. Even elite athletes may miss a work-out, that's life. What's important is what happens afterwards. Do you then miss another, and another, because you missed just one work-out? No! Get straight back to training," she says.
And what's the best way to get back into it?
"Don't let yourself get cooped up indoors. Even if the weather is miserable, make a point of getting outdoors — long walks, playing with dogs and kids. Just because it's cold, don't let yourself become a couch potato," Michelle says.
Get organised: Lay everything out ready for your work-out before you go to bed. The thought of having to organise everything at the last minute will out you off working out. It's also important to have a plan. Know exactly what workout you're doing and what you will need for it.
Don't hide from outside: Training outside is important during winter. Try and get out when the sun is about as it will lift your spirits.
Buddy up: If you're feeling tired and sluggish find someone to work out with. It's good to have someone to help motivate you and who you can motivate in return. Or even better, join a running, cycling or team fitness group in your area. Being part of a team will help you to feel more motivated.