Cold temperatures can dampen your mood to exercise (Photo: iStock)

Whether you have been actively exercising or are just about to start a journey to physical fitness, cold temperatures can dampen your mood to exercise.

But you do not have to wait until the weather warms up to resume outdoor workouts. Outdoor exercise allows you to break away from the concrete walls and enjoy reconnecting with nature.

Try these tips to stay safe, warm, injury free, and fit during the cold season:

DRESS WARM AND DRY

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The body loses heat when wet. Clothes that absorb sweat will make you chilly in the cold and you may end up cutting your workout short. Wear workout clothes made from synthetic fibres that dry faster than cotton such as polyester so that your body dries up quickly.

PROTECT YOUR EXPOSED PARTS

Your ears, nose, toes, and fingers are the most affected body parts since they are not normally covered. Wear woollen or synthetic headbands, gloves, mittens and socks, and shoes that keep your toes warm.

GO FOR BRIGHT WORKOUT CLOTHES

For those of us who enjoy going for a run in the forest, park, etc., it is wiser to put on brightly coloured clothes for ease of visibility. Not only are these months cold, but days can get pretty dark, especially in the mornings and evenings.

If you are sharing the road with motorists or other fitness enthusiasts, bright colours will keep you easily visible especially when it gets misty. Reflective gear is also a good option.

WARM-UP

Dynamic warm-up exercises increase blood flow and they raise the body temperature to make muscles more pliable. Depending on the type of workout you intend to do, include warm exercises that mimic the main workout routine. This will make your target muscles and joint more flexible for a workout of higher intensity.

HYDRATE

Even though the ambient temperatures are low, that’s no excuse to ignore your thirst. When working out in the cold, you still lose water by sweating and breathing in lower temperatures. You still need to sip your water during your workout.

If you are unsure of how much water you need to drink, monitor your urine passage. Dark yellow, low-volume urine indicates that you need more hydration. Hydrating also keeps your skin from drying up.

Apply some petroleum jelly on exposed areas such as the ears, and the tip of the nose to protect your skin from cold wind.