It’s cold, it’s dark, and the only marathon I fancy is the boxset kind involving the TV, a blanket and a hot chocolate. It’s hard to stay motivated with your fitness over the winter, safe in the knowledge that any weight gain is easily hidden under chunky knitwear.

Here are a few tips that may help get you moving and keep those winter blues at bay…

Join a running club/ run with friends
The nights are less scary if you are part of a group – and you are less likely to bail if you agree to meet others.

Mix it up
Hit the gym – it’s warm in there, you don’t get rained on and some of them even have a coffee shop! Unsure of what to do? Most gyms offer a wide range of classes, so there is bound to be something to suit you.

Change the time you work out
Don’t like running at night? Try and pop out for a few miles on your lunch hour instead.

Focus on the positive
Regular exercise keeps your immune system in tip-top condition – helping you fight off the winter lurgy that’s doing the rounds in the office.

Think of the shopping opportunities
You are going to need winter running gear… I’m always up for a trip to the shops.

Take advantage of the festivities
All these winter ice rinks popping up – you can burn 450- 600 calories with an hour of skating. It counts as exercise!

And if all the above fail…

Good old-fashioned bribery

I’m having that mulled wine at the Christmas Market / Starbucks red cup at the end of my run – I need it to warm up… that’s what I tell myself anyway!