COLUMN: How my exercise habits change with the seasons

Lee Peace.
Lee Peace.
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The message read ‘We’ve Missed You’.

When the email first dropped into my inbox I thought it was from some long-lost friends or relatives who I’d lost touch with.

Endcliffe Park is a popular running route in Sheffield.

Endcliffe Park is a popular running route in Sheffield.

On closer inspection it turns out it was from my gym. I’d not been in a few weeks and they were missing me, apparently.

Normally I would have been sufficiently guilt-tripped into getting on my gear and heading down to work up a sweat on the treadmill or the rowing machine - but not this time.

While it is true I have not been to the gym in a few weeks, nor have I been vegetating on the settee in front of the TV.

Sheffield has some fantastic parks and coupled with the warmer weather, I have been out running in the open air a few times a week.

Endcliffe Park, Botanical Gardens, Hillsborough Park, Damflask Reservoir - you name it, I’ve probably been there at some point recently in my running shoes. This pattern of change in my seasonal exercise habits has repeated itself over the past several years.

And given the increase in number of runners out and about in the spring/summer months - I’m sure plenty of other people are affected with the same condition too.

This got me wondering: Do our city’s gyms and health centres see a mass exodus between the months of May and September?

Ironically, if you wanted to use the gym now would probably be a good time to go.

You could count on most of the equipment being freely available rather having to wait for two or three people to finish up before you get a go - which is the usual case at the place I use in the busier winter months.

Despite my gym’s best efforts, I doubt I will be changing my exercise habits any time soon.

Sheffield was recently awarded more than £100,000 of grant funding to create one of the country’s biggest networks of running routes.

The money from England Athletics was secured by The Outdoor City partnership, which hopes to build more than 20 new routes across Sheffield by March 2017.

The first phase of the project has just been completed, with 11 new runs ranging from 1km to 10km marked across seven locations.

This is clearly great news for us outdoorsy types.

Of course what would be great is a gym which offers six-month deals instead of full-year contracts, but I haven’t found one as yet. Looks like I’m set for another heartfelt email from my gym anytime now.