Stay well this winter: Leaving the house to be active

With the colder and darker winter months approaching, getting moving in the morning, daytime and evening can be more tricky. Here are some tips to hel

Chris Davis

06 Nov 2023

two women walking

With the colder and darker winter months approaching, getting moving in the morning, daytime and evening can be more tricky. Here are some tips to help:

Be prepared

  • Having the right footwear, warm clothing and protection from the elements to hand is great for safety as well as helping with motivation if you have things ready to go.
  • Take extra care if it’s slippery. Whether walking for travel or more briskly for exercise, wear shoes with good grip and consider paths that have been treated where possible. 
  • Let someone know where and when you are going out for a walk, activity or exercise. A message or phone call to a friend or neighbour is great. Better still…bring them along with you!


Stay safe

  • Stay seen. Wearing bright and reflective clothing where possible, or otherwise aim for well lit areas. Little pocket torches can be really useful for getting out the front door and when walking in areas that aren’t very well lit.
  • Do you really need to go out? If the weather is really wet or icy, do you need to do out and can you find another way to be active at home. If you travel on foot for shopping or supplies, is there someone who could help you with that instead?
  • Take someone with you! Being active or exercising socially isn’t for everyone, but it can be great way to stay motivated, connect with friends and be with people where the weather and shorter days might ordinarily reduce social contact. 
  • Plan your route in advance and know the shortcuts home. You will know your own community and neighbourhood best. You might need to change your plans depending on the weather (e.g. fallen branches, flooded paths, icy surfaces), so having a shorter or alternative route home is great.
  • Take a phone with you where possible, or stick to areas where help is near by if you need it.
  • If you’re travelling to an activity then consider how you’ll get there? Sharing a lift, public transport, alternative routes and planning ahead if driving may be a good idea if the weather isn’t looking great.


Take it steady and drink up

  • It might take you a bit longer to warm up when you’re being active in the winter. Layering of clothes is a good idea for both keeping warm and ease of managing your temperature while you’re out.
  • You might not feel so warm or thirsty at this time of year but fluids are still important when you are out being active or exercising. A great opportunity for a thermos of warm herbal tea or water.


Stay motivated.

  • Making a commitment, whether booking into a community class, agreeing to meet a friend and deciding on a place to visit are all great ways to stay motivated when the nights close in.
  • Weather permitting…take nature walks! Watch as the landscape changes over the winter months. Enjoy your usual beauty spots with a very different winter feel or explore new places and spaces.
  • Reframe the activity! Look forward to that nice warm drink when you get home or enjoying company with people in a local community venue. Getting warm, dry and cosy is a great way to reframe activity if you’re not typically a winter fan.

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Chris Davis
06 Nov 2023

Physical Activity Specialist (Strategic Lead for health, Active Ageing and Disability)