Keep yourself healthy and active this winter

‘Summer’s Olympic thrill is over and the Autumn leaves have turned but keeping yourself active is key to keeping the Winter Blues at bay,’ says Better’s Area Community Sports Manager, Rakhi Shingadia.

One hundred and fifty minutes of moderate exercise every week can help manage weight and blood pressure, tone muscles, promote good sleeping habits and raise your general mood and mental wellbeing during the gloomy winter months.

At Better leisure centres across the Thames Valley region we offer a range of group and individual lessons and courses for all ages from swimming to tennis to pilates.

We boast some of the finest public facilities in the country with Vale of White Horse Tennis and Leisure Centre in Abingdon offering the opportunity to play casually or competitively, providing coaching for beginners through to county level players. Of course, you don’t have to sign up to lessons. Why not turn up with a friend and ‘pay & play’ at a variety of social and fun sports including badminton, basketball or squash.

Heated swimming pools can be a welcome oasis of warmth and comfort on a cold winter’s day. Why not try our inviting pools at Didcot Wave, Chesham and Chalfont – heated to a balmy 28 degrees centigrade.

Supplement your exercise regime with a balanced diet, plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water to boost your immune system to fight off winter bugs, coughs and colds.

New mums

In Oxfordshire, new mums are welcome at Buggy-a-cise – a safe, fun and structured fitness class that incorporates power walking, light running and group exercise with your baby and buggy. The sessions last an hour and are a perfect way to get back into regular light exercise following the birth of your baby – as well as encouraging that all-important bonding.

Family fun

If your kids are allergic to outdoor exercise in the grey skies and cold drizzle – why not take them to one of Better’s indoor fun palaces?

The Swindon Link Centre boasts an ice rink and trampoline park where youngsters (and parents) can glide and spin or jump for joy in a safe, climate controlled environment. Both activities are a fun way to burn off some energy while developing core strength, balance and concentration.

Whatever you do, make sure you keep active and healthy this winter. For more information on your nearest Better Leisure Centre activities in the Thames Valley, go to www.better.org.uk/leisure-centres