The days are getting shorter and temperatures are starting to drop, but despite winter gradually looming, there are plenty of ways to stay happy and healthy.
Sport BOP and local health organisations are sharing their tips for health and wellbeing as the colder months arrive.
Sport BOP health team leader Larissa Cuff says although it's becoming colder outside, witnessing the change of season by going for a walk in the forest or to a local park can be a rewarding and calming experience.
"Whakarewarewa Forest is a great place to explore in winter, by bike or on foot, as there's plenty of shelter under the tree canopy and trails catering for all fitness levels.
"The aquatic centre, complete with indoor pool, is also a great option and offers aquatic fitness classes for all levels and abilities."
Larissa says if venturing outdoors isn't your thing, then there has been an explosion of free online workouts in the last 12 months that can be done in your lounge room.
Sport Bay of Plenty has also put together loads of home activity resources for all ages which can be found at its website.
She says it's natural to want to retreat inside away from the cold and damp as winter sets in, but staying active is important for our physical and mental wellbeing.
"The mood-boosting benefits of physical activity can really help us ride out the gloomy winter months.
"Going for a ride, a walk or to a gym class with others can also ensure you stay socially connected and combat some of the isolation that easily creeps in when there's less daylight hours and we want to retreat inside."
Larissa says if you're struggling to find the motivation to keep moving over winter, then the key thing is to do little things often.
"Shorter daylight hours can be demotivating if you're used to exercising early or later in the day, so doing smaller, achievable activities more often can be a rewarding way to make sure you remain active.
"A 10-minute walk, taking the kids to the park or challenging your workmates to ride to work can all be great ways to 'sneak in' some physical activity into your day."
She says another key motivator to help you resist the pull of the couch is to join a local activity group or club.
"Not only is it a great way to connect with new people, it's also a positive way to stay on track.
"We're less likely to cancel an activity when we've told others we'll be there, versus when we plan to just do something by ourselves.
"Visit the Get Involved directory on sportbop.co.nz for a list of activity providers and clubs in your area.
"Although winter can really put a dampener on our motivation to stay active, little things like keeping it simple, doing it often and doing a variety of activities can really help make winter more enjoyable."
Dr Hayden McRobbie, Lakes District Health Board lifestyle consultant, says respiratory illnesses tend to spike in the colder months.
"Last year we saw less respiratory illnesses, likely due to the preventive measures implemented for Covid-19 (eg. better hand hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing, etc)."
He reminds people to practise good hygiene, including washing hands often and coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
"If you have flu or cold symptoms stay home and get a Covid test. Eat well, get enough sleep, be physically active, stop smoking. Get an influenza immunisation if you are eligible."
He says if you have underlying respiratory illnesses, make sure to have an action plan in place for the colder months and take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
"Keep your home healthy - open windows when you can and clean visible mould off surfaces.
"Make sure to keep up with your child's immunisation schedule - ask your doctor or practice nurse."
If you are aged between 15 and 30 you may have missed out on a measles immunisation.
Get an MMR immunisation from your doctor or participating pharmacist (if you are 16 years and over).
Dr Lynne Layne, Toi Te Ora Public Health public health physician, says influenza is one of the main winter illnesses.
"Although some of the symptoms are the same as a cold, influenza is usually much more severe and can lead to hospitalisation, particularly in the very young, the elderly, and in people who already have health problems.
"Immunisation, hand hygiene and cough etiquette are effective ways to reduce the spread of influenza. It is also important to stay home if you develop an influenza-like illness."
The influenza vaccine is free for those most at risk including everyone aged 65 and over, and adults or children with certain chronic medical conditions.
Work on this year's influenza vaccination programme is currently being finalised, she says.
She says other illnesses that are more frequent over winter are asthma, respiratory infections and rheumatic fever.
"Keeping homes warm and dry in the colder months helps protect families from these infectious diseases.
"Insulation, thick curtains, and blocking draughts under doors and around windows can increase warmth."
Homes can be kept dry in a number of different ways, including by opening windows to let steam out and to air out rooms for a few minutes a day, wiping water off walls or windows, using a dehumidifier, and avoiding the use of unflued portable LPG gas heaters, she says.
A smokefree home will also help keep the air clean.