Are you feeling the winter chills?

During these cold months many of us lose motivation to hit the pavement for a morning jog, or head to the pool for a swim.

Without a gym membership, many people can feel lost when it comes to staying in shape during winter.

It’s important to stay fit even when the weather seems against you. And while exercise certainly warms you up – it can be fun as well.

Below are five tips to help keep you motivated and active during the winter months.

1. Be positive – having a good attitude makes a difference to happiness, and happiness is important to good health. Winter is actually the ideal time to lose weight and tone up, as your metabolism naturally speeds up to help keep you warm. Keep moving through winter and you’ll be a step ahead when the warm weather arrives.

2. Make the most of every moment – If you’re finding the mornings too cold and by evening you’re too tired, look for ways to integrate exercise into your day. At lunchtime, throw on a scarf, grab a brolly and go for a brisk 20-minute walk. If you have a meeting with a colleague or a client, consider hitting the streets for a “walk and talk”. Try a lunchtime boxing or yoga class. These breaks will warm you up and are a great way to revitalise your mind and get you ready for productive afternoons.

3. Stairs (inside and out) – running or walking up and down stairs at home is great cardio, and taking the stairs at work or when shopping can make for a spontaneous workout. Take the stairs instead of the escalators, walk the length of the corridor on that level, and back, then keep on climbing. Even coming downstairs is great exercise for rear leg and butt muscles.

4. Home exercise DVDs or YouTube videos are great sources of motivation and peer support. If you have weights, a skipping rope, a stability ball or any other equipment, you can use them for a full body workout.

5. Don’t let a cold completely cancel your exercise routine – If you don’t feel up to the normal pace, try gentler activities, always remembering to warm up with stretches first. Keeping a regular exercise routine will make it easier to get back into top form and fitness, and will stave off a lot of more chronic conditions.