Winter is on its way, which means it’s time to make some changes to your usual outdoor workout regime.

There’s no better feeling than exercising in the fresh air with the cool breeze on your skin, but come winter, the cold temperatures can really affect your performance – as well as your health.

It is important, therefore, to look after yourself when exercising outdoors this winter. Here are a few ways how:

Check the weather forecast

Before you head outdoors, check the weather conditions for the length of time that you’ll be outside, including temperature and wind chill.

Extremely low temperatures and high wind chill levels could put you at risk of problems such frostbite or hypothermia, even if you do dress warm. In this instance, you should switch to an indoor workout or check to see whether the conditions outdoors are predicted to improve later in the day.

Remember, you must put your health first.

Dress in layers

Of course, it is important to wrap up to protect you from the chill; but one of the biggest mistakes you can make when exercising in the cold is to dress too warmly. You will know that your body naturally heats up when working out, making it feel warmer than it actually is.

Once your sweat begins to evaporate though, you will start to feel cold. The solution to this, therefore, is to dress in layers. This means that once you begin to feel too warm, you can simply remove an item of clothing, then put it back on after you have cooled down.

Drink plenty of fluids

You may think that you don’t need to drink as many fluids in the cold weather, but this is not the case. Your body will still become dehydrated in the cold, however, you may not notice it as much as you would in warm weather. So make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Protect your head, hands, feet and ears

When it’s cold, heat from your body escapes from your head, hands, feet and ears faster than any other part of your body.

Ensure you keep them well-wrapped up with a pair of fleece or wool gloves and a hat. You may even wish to purchase a pair of training shoes that are half a size bigger than your usual size, in order to fit a pair of thick, thermal socks inside.

Keeping warm and safe, as well as fit, is key this winter.