With the chilly temperatures here it may be tempting to stay tucked up and cosy on the couch at home, but Sport of Plenty is encouraging people to get out and active this winter.

Melanie Short, Sport Bay of Plenty communication and operations manager, says those that are already active and realise the benefits keep on going through the winter.

"Others who want to get started during winter can find many ways to do so. The weather might be a deterrent initially, but with time and practice the motivation grows."

Melanie says there are many benefits to being regularly active, including weight control, improved circulation, lower cardiovascular disease, blood pressure and cholesterol, reduced stress and improved general wellbeing,


"All in all, putting the 'zing' back into your life. It might be cold, but your body is born to move, so let's get going."

Melanie says scheduling in activity is important, and making the most of the fine moments in the weather.

"It is well known that Bay of Plenty people like to get active in outdoor spaces, and we are very lucky with where we live."

She says when it comes to getting active, choose an activity you will enjoy and are therefore more likely to stick with on a regular basis.

This could be anything from joining a sports club or group exercise class, to going for a swim at the local pool.

"Explore the local areas, go out walking - anywhere. Beaches, lakes, hills or join one of the many walking groups around the Bay of Plenty."

She suggests trying mountain biking at the many trails around the region, and says all levels can enjoy Whakarewarewa Forest, Onepu Park or the Papamoa Hills.

Melanie says exercising with friends and family is also a fun and sociable way to keep fit, and that you will be able to keep each other motivated if one of you loses momentum.


"We encourage you, when all you want to do is hide from the cold, to remember the last time you were active and the feeling that it gave you."

She says that with whatever you choose to do to get active in the colder months, make sure it works for you and your fitness levels, as suitable types of activity for one person may be too much or too little for another.

"If the most energetic part of your day is walking from your car to the office, then parking further away and walking at a quicker pace would be a good form of activity.

"However, a 5km run is maybe too much of a challenge too soon."

Check out the activity options in Sport Bay of Plenty's Get Involved Directory at www.sportbop.co.nz/get-involved/.