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Health, fitness & wellbeing tips - surviving January & beating the winter blues


Health, Fitness & Wellbeing

Survival Tips

Surviving & Thriving Through January &  

the Winter Blues


By Stuart Roberts, Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and author of

Get Strong, Get Fit, Get Happy (January 2020, Hashtag Press)

  • In winter many of us find it hard to exercise and it's often even harder after the festive ‘break' from the usual routine.
  • Six in 10 Brits say their mood is generally lower in winter than at any other time of the year, with 66% blaming the dark mornings and evenings (
  • When the ‘Beast from the East' hit last year a quarter (28%) of people did less sport and physical activity, according to a survey for Sport England.
  • Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, ex-Firefighter and author of new book out in January, Stuart Roberts, shares his tips for keeping motivated.
  • Stuart is available for comment and interview.
  • Digital and paperback copies are available for request
  • Press folder containing more information, photos, PDF of the book and author Q&A:


It can be hard to keep up with fitness in the winter. Dark mornings and evenings can make people feel lethargic. Cold weather makes it hard to get outside, and icy pavements can be dangerous.

Fitness and health expert Stuart Roberts recommends the following approach to keeping yourself and your wellness on track through the winter months. 

W- Watch what gets in the way of your motivation

I- Incentive

N- Nurture

T- Tune into the natural rhythm of the season

E- Explore new options



W - Watch what gets in the way of your motivation

With curiosity and not judgement notice what gets in the way of focusing on your health and fitness during the winter months. 

Is it the thought of leaving a warm home on a cold night to get to the gym?  Perhaps ask a friend to come along with you too so you can encourage each other when motivation is waning. 

Have you convinced yourself that you may as well wait for the New Year before you start exercising or eating more healthily? Remind yourself that long-term health is about incremental changes as they are far easier to sustain than drastic overnight changes on January 1st. For example, get into the habit of walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift. When the adverts come on television use the time to do some press ups or some squats. When waiting for the kettle to boil do some stretches. If you work at a desk stand up whenever you take a call. 

Have you got too many commitments and the stress of getting prepared for Christmas leaves no time for exercise? 

Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which is time efficient, highly effective and will help you to destress too!

Is it that you simply can't be bothered? The Bach flower remedy Hornbeam is fabulous for a lack of motivation and procrastination. It helps to reinvigorate you with enthusiasm again. 


I - Incentive

When the lure of the sofa is far more enticing than the thought of doing exercise, you need to focus on your why. Jot down the cost of not keeping your fitness goals on track during the winter months as well as all the benefits. Keep your notes handy. Inspiring pictures on a notice board or on your desk can also be a great way to keep focused on your why. 


N - Nurture

Winter is definitely the time of the year for nurturing. Unfortunately, when it comes to health and fitness many of us have a "should" mentality that leaves us feeling guilty if we miss a fitness class or a trip to the gym. Focus on what you want to do rather than what you "should" do - it's far more motivating. Replace "I should be going to the gym tonight but I've had a really stressful day" with "I'm looking forward to the gym tonight. I'm going to take out my stressful day on the punch bag". If you're not feeling like going to the gym, then do something that's nurturing or fun - snuggle up in front of the fire with a book, for example, or curl up with a favourite film. Whatever you choose to do, immerse yourself and enjoy every moment - don't feel guilty!  The feelgood hormones you generate will probably do you far more good than a resentful trip to the gym. 


T - Tune into the natural rhythm of the season

Winter seasonal veg are nature's way of helping us to gain a few pounds to protect us from these colder months. Yet January is frequently diet season! So rather than beat yourself up for not sticking to a new diet, tune into the natural rhythm of the season. After the indulgence of the rich food we often eat at Christmas choose warming simpler soups and casseroles. To reduce the glycemic load, get in the habit of having a bowl of soup without bread. Rather than traditional mash on a Shepherd's pie try cauliflower mash instead - it's just as comforting. As well as being in tune with the season it doesn't give that feeling of being "on a diet" which can lower our spirits and stop us feeling fired up for exercise! 


E - Explore new options

As winter is often the season for consolidation, we may not instinctively think about exploring new exercise options at this time of year. Yet trying something new can bring a new lease of life. As well as helping with our motivation the new form of exercise will probably be using different muscle groups and so your overall fitness will benefit. 


R - Reward

There's no denying that keeping focused on our health and fitness can be more demanding during the winter months. Our brains tend to respond to acknowledgement far more than criticism so give yourself regular rewards for your efforts to help sustain your motivation and momentum. 


More information about the new book:

Title: Get Strong, Get Fit, Get Happy: A Life Manual For 40+

Author: Stuart Roberts

Genre: Health & Fitness, Self-Help, Motivational

Publisher: Hashtag Press

Publication: January 23 2020

Availability: Paperback & eBook

ISBN: 9781916161740

Price: £12.99

Press folder:




About Get Strong, Get Fit, Get Happy

Get Strong, Get Fit, Get Happy will give you the knowledge, confidence and inspiration to reach and maintain a level of health and fitness - for the rest of your life - that many would consider unattainable. Together with Personal Trainer and Naturopathic Nutritionist, Stuart Roberts, you'll consider how pre-conceived ideas and commonly-held perceptions about ageing and health can unwittingly convince us to expect significantly declining health and physical fitness as we get older. If you're approaching a milestone birthday and want to be the exception to the ageing rule, this manual, designed to support men and women aged 40-plus, would be a great way to celebrate the rest of your life!

Throughout the book there are simple tips and suggestions to implement changes easily to get you started and move you forward, but this is not a "quick fix." Instead, you'll be gently guided through incremental changes and investments in your health that you can adopt over the long term, so that you benefit throughout your life. You will be amazed at how quickly your body responds and your health improves. 

Get Strong, Get Fit, Get Happy is a practical tool kit, so you can make informed choices about what feels right for you, whether you're looking to work on your fitness, eat more healthily or improve the way your body digests and absorbs the foods you eat. And faced with the challenges of making changes and the demands of 21st century living, the last two chapters, written by Stuart's wife, Sue Roberts, focus on stress and keeping motivated.

About the author

Growing up watching loved ones at the mercy of debilitating illnesses, Stuart became passionate about transforming people's health, helping them attain boundless energy and maintain their fitness whatever their age. 

Being a Fire Fighter for thirty years Stuart was lucky to have a job that required him to keep physically fit. Early on his career he qualified as a Fire Service Physical Training Instructor and did this for twenty-five years, until he retired early. Stuart studied at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London for three years, before qualifying as a naturopathic nutritionist in 2003, after a further three years of study at Plaskett College. His methods are based on the importance of making changes that are easy to implement, sustainable over the longer term and that fit into busy lives without denying people the pleasure of their favourite foods.

In 2004, Stuart built on his experience supporting Fire Fighters with their fitness and qualified as a Coach and Instructor in a completely new and revolutionary exercise program developed for athletes which could be adapted and used by anyone. He learned from mentors who changed what he thought was possible with respect to health and fitness at middle age and beyond. Stuart lives in Kent, England with his wife.