No matter how dedicated you are to your fitness, the winter can be a difficult time to stay in shape. Nighttime comes early and the weather is terrible, so it makes you not want to head outside. Maybe you’re used to exercising outside, but it’s much more challenging to do so during the winter, though it doesn’t mean you have to stop. Whether you’re going to a gym or braving the elements, here are some tips for continuing to work out in the winter.

Wear appropriate clothes

Since the colder weather is setting in, you’ll want to be prepared for it. Get ready to change your exercise wardrobe, especially if you’re planning on working out outside. Have reflective clothes that drivers can see in the dark and enough layers and quality material to keep you warm. Even if you’re running for miles, the cold can still harm you if you aren’t properly attired. Avoid too many bulky layers as well, because it makes working out more difficult. If you’re staying inside, make sure you have warm clothes for when you leave the building.

Be germ conscious

When you’re working out at a gym, the winter is a perfect time for germs to spread. Wipe down machines before and after you use them, even if you aren’t actively sick. After your workout, shower, and avoid spending too much time in the locker room.

Create a reward system

The bleak weather can often make you feel like you don’t want to work out or maybe you feel like it isn’t worth it and you can get back into your routine in the spring. A great way to work around this feeling is to create a rewards system for yourself. Whether it’s a nice dinner, new workout clothes, or something else that motivates you, use this goal to get yourself to move.

Get in small workouts

There are going to be days when you just can’t motivate yourself to get in a full workout, but anything you can do is beneficial. Take time out of your day, even if it’s just half an hour, to move around a bit. Your body will be grateful and you’ll reap the benefits.

Workout with a friend

One of the best ways to motivate yourself to workout is by having a partner who holds you accountable for missed workouts. When choosing your workout buddy, find a friend you know won’t regularly flake on you or reinforce skipping workouts. You need someone who’s as dedicated to fitness as you are so you can push each other to stay in shape.

Change it up

A great way to get yourself in the mood for working out is changing up your regular routine. Get new workout clothes, start a new playlist, or begin a different kind of fitness regime. Having something exciting and different can help push you to keep focusing on your fitness and crushing your workout goals.