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Top reasons Brits exercise less in winter – such as cold, wet weather

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Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of those put the drop in activity down to the colder temperatures, with 57 percent put off by the dark mornings and evenings.

Others admitted they find it more difficult to get out of bed during the winter (49 percent), are worried about safety when exercising alone in the dark (27 percent), and have less energy (24 percent).

The spring and autumn months were the most popular time of year to get in shape – with almost half (49 percent) wishing they could maintain the healthy mindset they adopt in warmer months across the cold, dark winters.

And more than a third claim they generally live a healthier lifestyle in the summer compared to the winter.

Andreas Michaelides, Ph.D., chief of psychology at Noom, the psychology-backed behaviour change programme, which commissioned the research, said: “For many, winter can play havoc with our intentions, causing us to exercise less or change our eating habits.

“Whether it’s the dark, the cold, stress, or tiredness, many external factors can impact our decision-making at this time of year.

“The data indicates that “hibernation mode” kicks in for almost one in five of us, and we often lose our motivation to maintain our routines compared to the summer months, due to barriers like the weather and holidays.

“Recognising how these internal and external factors impact you and your choices is just the first step to making truly informed decisions, enabling you to maintain a motivated mindset all year round.

“It’s also important to plan accordingly when you know you may experience situations that prevent you from achieving your health goals.

“Adapt your routine by going for a walk on a treadmill instead of running outside, or swapping your summer salad for a warming vegetable soup instead.”

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found walking is the most common form of exercise undertaken by Brits throughout the year.

This was followed by running, cycling, and bodyweight exercises, such as press-ups and pull-ups – with 23 percent saying they enjoy exercising “a lot”.

But winter is a season for indulgence, with 40 percent enjoying more food in December than at any other time of the year, as temptations peak with Christmas parties and food-centred celebrations.

And 28 percent admitted they eat chocolate more frequently at this time of year.

More than one in five (22 percent) are also likely to order more takeaways, and 28 percent get through more packets of biscuits during the winter.

Andreas Michaelides, Ph.D. from Noom, added: “Thankfully, maintaining healthy habits over winter doesn’t mean banishing your favourite foods, or going on gruelling exercise routines – but rather, incorporating small, healthy habits here and there, that will lead to long-term, sustainable change.”

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