If you plan to brave the elements and endure rigorous exercise outside on a cold winter day, you will definitely want to and need to dress accordingly! Whether you are hiking through a snowy, wooded trail, jogging through town, or engaging in winter sports activities, to make the most out of your experience, you’ll need to keep yourself safe and warm. In this post, we will take a look at a few important tips that will help you dress appropriately for a cold-weather workout.
Keeping your feet, hands, and head warm is super important if you plan to train outside during the winter. Wearing a fitted, but thick pair of waterproof winter gloves, a snug winter hat, and a thick pair of socks is necessary if you are going to be spending more than 20 minutes outside in cold weather. It wouldn’t hurt to have two pairs of socks if they will fit well with your footwear. When shopping for a new winter hat or new winter gloves that will keep you well protected outside, look for hats and gloves built with wind-blocking fabric. For example, fleece is an excellent material for warmth and comfort, but it isn’t that great at keeping the wind out, so save your fleece winter accessories for your short commute to work or the grocery store. If you do end up warming up during your outdoor winter workout, you will be able to easily remove your hat and gloves.
When dressing for a cold-weather workout, you need a solid base layer. Look for tight-fitting and wicking materials that will serve to keep your skin protected from cold sweat. Materials like wool, silk, polyester, and polypropylene all do a great job of keeping your skin dry and warm. Since we are on the topic of materials that best protect your skin from the cold, we should also take a look at materials you want to avoid for cold-weather workouts. Materials like cotton will trap moisture, meaning they will stay wet and end up drawing heat from your body, which is the last thing you want when you are in the cold outdoors. You also want to consider the temperature outside. For colder temperatures, lightweight base layers made with good material will do a better job of wicking and keeping out moisture. Alternatively, thicker materials may provide better insulation.
Since we are talking about cold, winter weather, you are inevitably going to need more layers than you would if you were working out indoors or on a warm, summer day. If you want a base layer that serves the purpose of wicking, but you also want insulation, that is where a base layer comes in. Even though insulation is the key when it comes to the mid-layer, it should be something loose enough to fit over the base layer. The mid-layer should not be as form-fitting as the base layer. A good mid-layer like a women’s fleece jacket will also help keep moisture out, taking any moisture absorbed by the base layer and transferring it to the outer layer. The best materials for mid-layers include fleece, wool, polyester, down, and synthetic blends. You can also find many good mid-layers that are constructed with zippers and pockets to safely store any personal belongings you bring with you.
The outer layer is arguably the most important layer to have when you are spending any length of time outdoors on a cold winter day. Now, an outer layer won’t serve you as well as it would without a high-quality base layer and mid-layer. But without an outer layer like a waterproof down jacket, you will be significantly colder and more at risk in cold weather. The most important things you want your outer layer to do for you are block wind and keep out moisture.
The outer layer should be made with materials that won’t easily rip or tear (because when this happens, it will be more difficult to keep the wind out). In addition to wind-resistant features, your outer layer should also be water-resistant. It is definitely worth paying a little more to invest in a high-quality outer layer that will last you for many years and do a proper job of protecting your body from the cold weather. That means it’s necessary to care for your outer layer by following any cleaning instructions for it. The last thing you want to do is ruin a brand new winter coat because of incorrect washing and drying. Research different cleaning agents that preserve the wind-resistant and water-resistant features, rather than strip those things from the coat.
Feeling more confident about your next cold-weather workout? Shop Lands’ End today to find products that will make your outdoor workouts better!