Getting healthy in the coldest months of the year is not easy going - there will be many times when our longing for the biscuit tin will overwhelm our wish for a banging bikini body, but according to specialist massage therapist Steve Finnemore there are lots of things we can do in January to stay on the healthy living path.

The most important aspects of staying well are good nutrition, staying physically active and lowering stress levels as much as possible - these things combined should see off any winter bugs that are doing the rounds.

Mr Finnemore pointed out that just because the weather is cold and the nights are long, we don’t have to turn to unhealthy junk food to make us feel better.

"Using a good range of organic seasonal vegetables you can make meals packed with nutrients which help you stay healthy throughout winter," he noted. "Vegetables can be made into soups and casseroles, or simply roasted with a small amount of oil to accompany lean cuts of organic meat, fish or vegetarian protein sources such as bean burgers, or nut and seed roasts."

And while the last thing you feel like doing after a long day at work is pulling on your gym kit, staying active in winter is vital to maintaining your good health. Go for a brisk walk outside for half an hour three times a week - you want to aim to be slightly out of breath by the end of your stroll to dispel those sluggish feelings.

"If the weather’s too miserable though, you could still go to exercise classes or even use an indoor means of keeping active," said the massage expert.

He also advised scheduling some ’down time’ for yourself, such as by booking some relaxation therapy.

"Booking a massage can be really beneficial in lowering your stress levels and so increasing your resilience against winter illnesses," Mr Finnemore added.

Posted by Matilda Jones