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Keeping up with your workout routine may get harder during the winter, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on staying in shape. You do need to take some additional precautions when exercising in cold weather, though, so here are a few tips that you’ll find helpful.

Warm Up First

While you should always warm-up and stretch before a workout, it is especially crucial in colder weather. The cold leaves you more vulnerable to sprains and strains, so some light warm-ups that mimic what you will be doing during your workout will help immensely.

Dress in Layers

Dressing in layers is always a good idea when you have to go outside in the cold, but you have to know how to dress if you’re physically active. A thin base layer of synthetic fabrics will pull moisture away from your skin, and wearing something like a polar fleece as a middle layer will protect you if it’s particularly cold outside. A windbreaker or waterproof jacket will make a good outer layer to protect you from the wind and snow. You should be able to shed some of these outer layers as you warm up unless it’s too cold to do so.

Avoid Exposing Skin

As you dress for cold weather, be sure to keep your hands and ears covered by gloves, a hat, or some ear protection. You might even want to keep your face covered if the windchill is particularly bad. You might be wearing plenty of warm layers, but you can still get frostbite if you have any exposed skin.

Watch Your Traction

Slipping and falling will always be a danger in the winter, so watch your step. If you think a sidewalk or the side of the road looks too icy, find somewhere else to walk or run. Attaching snow or ice spikes to your running shoes will increase your traction if you’re going on a hiking or running path, but they can make things worse if you’re running on pavement.

Know When to Stay Inside

As much as you might want to get outside and start jogging, the weather won’t always allow it. Pay attention to the temperature and the weather. If you think it’s going to be too dangerous to be out for very long, stay home. You might hate yourself for skipping your regular exercise, but at least you won’t have to worry about seriously hurting yourself for the sake of your fitness regimen.