Winter exercise for the athletically challenged

If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably got the measure of me by now. I’m more likely to be shopping (at least of the window variety) than cycling and, although I have been known to jog with my 6 year old personal trainer, I’ve just never really got that endorphin buzz that I’ve heard so much about.

And yet everyone I know is exercising, most of them competitively (as I mentioned in an earlier blog). Surely there are others like me out there?

So when it comes to exercise for the athletically challenged , I thought I’d ask an expert. I’m excited that Debra Bissett answered the call. Debra is a personal trainer and runs exercise classes in the great outdoors.

Here is her blog about exercise during the cold winter months:


Sometimes people find it hard to keep their fitness levels up in winter due to the dark mornings and nights and, not to mention the cold weather. It’s easier to hide away any extra weight gain as we’re all bundled up in our cosy winter clothes.

But it’s important that we keep up with our exercise routines to keep our weight under control year-round, to maintain and improve our health and to give us a much-needed boost for our mental health and happiness too. Our bodies are designed to move every day and, along with a healthy diet, it’s much more valuable to do this throughout the year, rather than blitzing it madly for one or two weeks in a state of panic before a big holiday or event.

The trick is to find something that will keep you going throughout the winter months so you might need to have a think and, if need be, change your routine slightly. If you usually run but don’t like running alone in the dark, then find a friend to run with. Or find a group class to do, either inside or outside, and try a selection to find what works. There are so many different types of classes out there.

If you really don’t want to leave the house you can always do exercises at home – either write down four or five simple routines that you can rotate and do every couple of days, or buy a fitness DVD. To start you off, here’s a short, all-over-body routine you can do anywhere:

1 minute high knees, 10 lunges, 10 press ups, 1 minute star jumps, 10 squats, 10 ab crunches, 1 min plank. Repeat the whole thing 2 or 3 times.


Debra is a Personal Trainer and also runs group outdoor classes for women. If you’ve got any fitness or nutrition questions or would like to find out more, please contact her on the following: tel 07501 157177,,

Let me know if you’re athletically challenged like me. Perhaps we can start a support group!