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It’s the time of year when all you want is to snuggle up indoors, but there are cold hard facts to show that exercising in winter is more important than ever.

Short days and cold weather can make exercising in winter less than appealing. When your commute to and from work is in the dark, it’s easy to give workout plans the cold shoulder in favour of some couch time next to the heater.

The Dietitians Association of Australia says 38 per cent of Australian women and 53 per cent of men gain up to five kilograms during the colder months. It may be because 9 in 10 of us eat more takeaway meals during winter, according to a 2012 NSW Food Authority and NSW Health survey. It could also be because almost two-thirds of Australians admit to exercising less in winter, as a 2016 study by Accor Hotels found.

Going for a run may be less enticing than watching Netflix under a doona but it’s important to keep moving year-round. Moreover, studies have shown exercising in winter has added benefits that you don’t get in summer. Here are four top reasons to stay motivated.

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