Why it's good to get outside in the winter

I want to inspire you to get outside. If you happen to follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook you have probably guessed that already. The natural world is beautiful and worth exploring. Also, by exploring it you usually have to get moving so it's exercise and inspiration all in one.

About 90% of the sessions I run are outside. So far in the autumn of 2016 less than 1% of these have been wet. And I live in the South West of the UK. Pretty good I reckon. There are a number of reasons I think it's important to get outside every day, especially in the winter.

1. Physical health – get moving outside for 10 minutes, preferably more. Get the blood pumping with a brisk walk, run or outdoor fitness session. Your heart will thank you.

2. Mental health – so many studies show the benefits to our mental health of spending time in the natural world.

3. Avoid feeling SAD (linked to point 2 above) – a little bit of daylight everyday can help combat the winter blues. It can help your body clock understand the difference between night and day and help with sleep and the winter blues. It's easy to spend the whole day under artificial light...try and get a few minutes out in daylight even on the dullest of days.

4. Increase productivity – exercise helps stimulate brain cells to make new connections. The run up to Christmas is a busy, tiring time. A brisk walk at lunchtime can help with the

5. Look for the silver lining – get out for a lunchtime walk on a grey day and see what the natural world can show you in terms of colour and variety. Whether it's a patch of blue sky on an otherwise grey day, a late blooming rose or the last of the autumn leaves putting on their annual display of colour. Look for something to light up your afternoon and you'll return to work and the screen feeling so much better.

And of course, you can always join one of my outdoor fitness sessions in Long Ashton, Flax Bourton or Ham Green.

Come say hi on Facebook and find out about my favourite outdoor places to explore in and around Bristol.