Running to get out of the house - #WomensWinterWorkouts


During the pandemic 26% of women are more likely to be less regularly active than Men (31%). (Sport England Autumn/Winter Tooklit)

With the winter months the opportunity and motivation to get out of the house to be active can be seen as more of a challenge. We'd like to focus on some of the things we can do, rather than the things we can't.

We're sharing stories of real women and how they're staying active during this time. We all know physical activity delivers immediate mental health and social benefits and has a long-term positive impact on our physical health. Hopefully some of these ideas will help inspire you to enjoy the benefits yourself!


Watch out for our stories of #WomensWinterWorkouts to help you stay motivated!

In the first in our series a busy Mum shares what she loves about getting active outdoors in the cold, dark evenings and how you can enjoy the benefits too.


Tell us a bit about you and your struggles with getting active generally and during the pandemic

As a busy working mum with three kids at home finding time to get active is ALWAYS a challenge. During the most recent lockdown it has been even harder. Throw in the winter and it’s been practically impossible!

What level of fitness would you say you started from?

I’m not a runner – at all. I had zero fitness before the start of Autumn/Winter. But the need to get out of the house was so great that exercise seemed to be the lesser of two evils.

What did you do/ are you doing to do to get active this winter? 

I started Couch to 5k – which is a great, easy to use, FREE app and only takes 30 minutes each time to do. I picked Jo Whiley as my running mentor (there are four others to choose from). Jo’s encouragement made me feel I could achieve, and I am.

What’s the reason you get active?

Running in the evenings became the thing I looked forward to most all day. With the days long and spent either at a laptop or caring for the family, running became the one thing, just for me.

Being active outdoors at night in winter gives you a completely different space to be in. It’s so far removed from the house, the warmth, the intensity of indoor life.

Where do you get active and how do you make it happen?

I love to run in the evenings, in the dark, on the pavement of very busy main roads. I turn my headphones up high (keeping within safety limits) bang out the tunes that I can’t play loudly in the house, and I even love it if it rains! It’s the closest thing I can get to a night out at the moment.

The streetlights and car lights against the blackness can transport me to crazy nights in clubs gone by. I think about my friends, good times and the time literally flies by. The cold makes me feel alive and the rain (or sleet) makes me run harder and faster. The music lifts my soul and takes me out of my own head for that half an hour.

What are your tips for getting active in the winter or the dark ?

I don’t run late at night, just in the early evenings, 7pm – 8pm ish - (conveniently by-passing the bedtime crazy at home!). I always run on busy, well-lit main roads and remind myself to take care when crossing side roads, especially with my music loud. I try and remember to wear something reflective when I go too.

What tips would you give other women about getting active in the winter or the dark?

To coin a well-known athletic brand. Just do it. Make the time. Claim it as yours. Don’t feel guilty about it. Find the thing for you. Whether it’s downloading an app. Making it your social time by exercising or just walking with a friend. You need to look after yourself first, before you can look after anyone else, so prioritise you. Your physical health and mental wellbeing will thank you for it!

You can download the Couch to 5k App here 

Check out our webpages for more ideas and inspiration to get active at home.