People often get derailed from their daily exercise regime during winter season. Now, a Saint Louis University exercise expert has offered some tips to keep up your daily routines.

“A change in weather should bring a change to your mindset. As temperatures get colder, it’s important for athletes to adjust their routines,” said Dr. Tony Breitbach, Director of athletic training education at Saint Louis University. “You need to have a winter sports strategy.” he said.

“If you plan well, you’ll be able to keep up with your routine fairly easily. Being aware of winter’s challenges is the best way to avoid injury,” he added.

Watch what you wear

Dress in layers for outside exercise. The layer closest to your skin should be made of breathable wicking material, avoiding cotton, which retains sweat. Add a thermal layer of fleece or cotton to keep in heat, and use a third, outer layer as a cover.

Watch what you eat and drink

If you over-indulge in rich foods, holiday drinks and sugary desserts, you’ll need to step up your workout just to maintain current level of fitness. Stay and well-hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, though be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol-based beverages which also lead to dehydration.

Watch for hazards

Use caution when running after dark by wearing light-coloured, reflective clothing so that drivers can see you.

Watch out for overuse

Activities like running in the park, golfing and swimming may not be options in the winter. Be creative, trying ice-skating, cross-country skiing or a yoga class as your exercise.

Watch out for injuries

If you play court sports like basketball and racquetball in winter months be aware of the greater chance for falling or colliding. Be sure you switch to shoes with good traction to help avoid collisions and avoid ankle injuries.

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