Frigid temperatures can discourage even the most motivated exercisers.

In the winter it’s easy to pack away your workout gear for the season and simply not exercise, but you don’t have to let the cold weather keep you from staying active. Here are some tips for winterizing your workout.

Clothing

Wear proper attire to keep you warm while working out. Be sure to layer your clothing as it provides better insulation from the cold and allows you more freedom to move. It is also recommended to wear water-resistant running shoes that have more traction to improve running in snowy or rainy conditions.

Drink plenty of fluids

Proper hydration during cardio is necessary to keep your muscles healthy and your body performing at its optimal level. It can be difficult to adequately judge hydration in the winter because cold temperatures cause the body to redirect warm blood to internal organs, consequently increasing the amount of water passing through the kidneys which decreases thirst. Hydrate your body inside and out – take a water bottle with you and moisturize your skin before heading out the door.

Warm up

Warming up before working out is always important, especially during the winter. Muscles may be cold in the winter and therefore less flexible and more susceptible to strains. Reduce the chances of injury by giving yourself at least 10 minutes to adequately warm up, including dynamic stretching or walking. Some prefer to warm up before heading out the door while others prefer to warm up outside. Pick whatever feels most comfortable for you.

Workout buddy

Invite a friend! It can be difficult to stay motivated when the weather gets cold, but having a workout buddy (dogs included) will keep you fired up so you actually enjoy the exercise. They can help encourage you, stop you from quitting and offer helpful advice.

Change it up

Don’t stick to the same routine. Switching your workout will add excitement. Think of the winter months as a bonus with seasonal activities like skiing and ice skating that not only boost your mood but help burn off calories as well.

Do you prefer staying inside altogether? Here are some indoor exercise options you could try.

Incorporate these tips so you can keep at it even when the weather may be against you. Those warm summer months will be here faster than you think. You’ll feel great knowing you chose not to spend your winter in hibernation mode.