The Winter and Christmas period can be one of the most testing times of the year for our health and wellbeing. Many of us let excuses get in the way of our usual workouts and healthy habits start to slip, as we tell ourselves that one more mince pie won't harm. From holidays to cold weather, Christmas party platters to copious cocktails, it's no wonder we want to indulge and leave it until January to get back on the wagon.

But imagine how much better you will feel in January if you haven’t stopped looking after yourself altogether. Allow yourself to indulge a little but try to maintain some balance as after all winter is not the time to take a break but a time to plan ahead and think of your goals for the following year.

To help you through this cold, dark winter we have put together 5 top tips.

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1. Embrace the cold – take on activities you aren’t used to that will test you not only physically but mentally as well. It is a great time to get outdoors and embrace the fresh weather. If you can, why not plan a skiing trip or find somewhere to go hiking, rather than being cooped up inside the gym. It's never too snowy to get outdoors, running in the snow is actually very difficult and can be an effective short, sharp session that will leave you feeling refreshed.

2. Layer up – this is a great opportunity to buy yourself some new training gear for your brisk morning walk, afternoon jog or post-gym layer. Not only will you be kept warm but knowing you've bought something new should encourage and motivate you to keep training as it becomes bitterly cold. We especially like the women's outerwear range from LuluLemon, many of which are designed with thermoregulation properties keeping you warm even on the coldest of mornings. We're also really excited for the launch of Active Man this Winter.

3. Be Mindful of your diet – as we are submerged into winter everyone naturally wants to indulge. We aren't trying to deny you of that, which is why Chef Louisa has been busy creating a range of warming winter dishes that are not only comforting but healthy too! Don't believe us? Check out our family favourite Cottage pie with sweet potato mash & chestnut mushrooms. Better yet, we can deliver all of the pre-portioned ingredients to your door, making eating healthily this winter that little bit easier.

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4. Build a new playlist – whether you’re someone who likes to listen to the Rocky soundtrack imagining you are running through snow in Russia or you need something a bit more relaxed, a new playlist can give you that added motivation to embark on your new winter programme. The best music to workout to is between 120 and 140 bpm so bare that in mind when putting your playlist together. However much we all like Adele, slower songs may cause your pace to subconsciously drop, so save it for the post-exercise stretching session.

5. Tailor your training – Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year; it's often the busiest too, so make sure you set yourself realistic training goals. This is especially true considering it now gets dark around 4pm meaning you may not be able to train for as long as you would at other times of the year. Don’t beat yourself, just accommodate for this by putting together some shorter sessions. Just remember the shorter the sessions are, the more intense they need to be.

Still need more motivation? Why not give these 10 minute, no equipment workouts a go.