So there I was, all dressed up in my running clothes and unwilling to get off the couch. Outside, it was a full on winter in New York City and my body was resisting my will to stay fit. With no gym membership, jogging was my best option to break a sweat during my brief visit. If only I could make myself start. Español aquí.

While I live in South America, Lima is not the eternal tropical paradise I wish it were. We have about three months of summer and the rest is a bland grey haze that can get rather chilly. Then again we don’t have heating. That’s probably why we get cold. I used to jog year round, until I had a knee injury. Here is how I did it in the cold of Lima and NYC. By the way, no makeup.

1. Onion test run
If it’s your first time, go for a test run dressed up in lightweight layers that you can take off and tie around your waist. The truth is that you will get warmer as you run and you probably won’t need all the layers you started out with. In Lima, I do well with a long sleeve shirt and leggings, and in NYC I added a windbreaker jacket. Looking at what your fellow co-runners wear also helps. To each their own.

2. Invest in items that are made for cold weather
I recommend looking for items made in fabrics that are meant for cold weather. Leggings and a shirt are key to keep you warm on the inside of all your layers. My first item of this sort was a long sleeved dri-fit shirt. It kept me warm so I got one for my dad. We used to jog in uniform.

3. Have a playlist
Music makes good company if you don’t have a buddy to run with. Not to mention that listening to awesome songs will definitely get you in the mood for your run. Making a playlist will avoid interrupting your vibe when an unexpected mood killer song pops into your ears. Bonus points if you time your playlist to be as long as your run.

4. Map out your route
It’s a probably a good idea to know where you are going. Because I am a woman, I like to run on busy avenues and avoid quiet streets. I feel safer this way, especially when I go out in the early mornings or late nights. I always find fellow runners and municipal security along my way. Planning out your run will let you know how far to go. If you tire yourself out, how will you get home?

5. Motivate yourself
In case you are wondering if I ever got off the couch, I did. I googled workout motivation and came across some pinterest photos of amazing looking women. It made me think how I wanted to look as good. I knew it was up to me. So I got off my hiney and out to the street. It was totally worth it. I talk about motivation again here.