Sometimes all you feel like doing in winter is curling up with a cozy blanket on the couch. But there are many health benefits to being active, including fighting the seasonal blues and getting better sleep. Here are some tips to help you start and keep moving:

Shift your schedule: Having turned back our clocks, we get much more light in the morning and little if any once we get home from work. If you find it difficult to get motivated once it’s dark, switch up your routine and schedule morning workouts instead of evening ones.

Sign up for a new class: Nothing breaks you out of the winter doldrums like learning something new. Try a hybrid fitness class, like Aqua Zumba or Yoga HIIT (high-intensity interval training). As an added benefit, a class is a financial and personal commitment, meaning you’ll be more likely to follow through even when you don’t feel like going.

Try active TV watching: If you’re stuck indoors because of a snowstorm or really don’t want to miss your favourite show, incorporate some movement during commercials or slower parts of the program. You can do jumping jacks, skip or jog or skip on the spot for some cardio and squats, push-ups or burpees for strength training.

Get creative indoors: If you’re limited in how much time you can spend outside, try finding new, exciting ways to become active indoors. Visit your local library for free workout DVDs, walk around exploring art and culture at a museum or check out a local indoor market or festival.

Reward yourself: At least half the battle is motivation and if you set little rewards for yourself when you meet your goals, you’ll be more likely to succeed. Treat yourself to a movie or that deluxe workout gear you’ve been craving. Or try a day at a spa with therapeutic massages, cleansing facials and invigorating body treatments that revive your senses.

– www.newscanada.com