It’s cold, icy and dark outside. The slightest slip and fall on the ice could injure an ankle, knee or even hip. So what are the best ways to get in your daily dose of exercise outdoors come the 4-5 months of Cold Man Winter?

Prep for cold weather exercise sessions

Hydrate. Drink plenty of water before and after you exercise, even if you’re not consumed by thirst. It may seem your body doesn’t sweat, but it continues to do so, evaporating more quickly in the cool, dry air. Staying hydrated also prevents workout injury and helps maintain peak performance.

Dress for the cold in layers. The benefit of layers is that if you overheat, you can remove a layer; and if the frigid air gets too strong again, just put the layer back on. Along with appropriate dress, be sure to lather on sunscreen just as you would in the summer.

Warm ups are even more crucial in the wintertime. Your body needs to loosen up, especially due to the tightness caused by cool air.

Partnering up with a workout buddy can help motivate you to get moving even in the darker, colder winter months.

Prep for cold weather exercise sessions

The days are shorter as darkness prevails. It is very important to wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight so you can see where you’re heading. A tip to remember is to run or walk against the flow of traffic. If the street has been plowed, run in areas safe from traffic.

The need for speed should not be your focus when black ice covers the ground. A single misstep can send you flying and landing smack on the ground with an injury. Just stay with a comfortable rhythm that is comfortable and easy .

Once your outdoor workout is complete, get out of your damp clothes into something dry and warm. Staying in damp clothes only increases heat loss.

How to Exercise in Cold Temps and Reap its Benefits

The benefits of winter workouts

You will build a tolerance for the chill after the initial shock of the freeze. Over time, it gets easier to push yourself outdoors and hit your goals of distance, time or other fitness objectives.

Outdoor exercise gives you a boost of vitamin D and additional nutrients due to exposure to the sun.

The lack of humidity during winter months gives exercisers a boost in mood, leaving you breathing in crisp rather than heavy air. Endorphins also increase after a workout in the cold.

You develop stronger heart muscle as your heart gets pumping. This occurs as cold weather causes your heart to work harder to distribute blood throughout your body. Those who exercise regularly build cardiovascular endurance in the cold weather.