Cold Weather Fitness Essentials - What You Need
As colder temperatures set in and COVID-19 continues to make indoor spaces a higher risk for virus transmission, how can you stay comfortable while keeping up your fitness routine? Read our "must have" list of essential cold weather fitness gear to help you stay active and healthy during these winter months.
The base layer is a layer of fitted clothing that is closest to your skin. It should wick moisture and perspiration to keep you warm and dry. There are lots of options for these pieces and most are made of silk, polyester, wool or a higher tech synthetic fabric like Thinsulate. Cotton and other breathable fabrics are not recommended as those options stay wet longer and actually draw heat away from your body.
This layer should focus on comfort and warmth. Fleece, wool and down are all good options and provide the insulation you need to keep your body heat from escaping. You may also find that mid layer clothing offers lots of ventilation options should you get too warm.
For the outside layer, focus on protecting yourself from the elements. That means waterproof material, wind resistant clothing and material that will keep you dry and shielded from inclement weather. While an outer layer is not always necessary, it is a great option to have if there is rain, wind or snow.
Did you know the majority of your body heat escapes through your head? Wearing a hat that covers your ears will not only keep your head warm, it will help maintain your body heat. Also, don’t forget your ears and your face as both can get chapped and chaffed without proper protection.
Our extremities often feel the cold first and the most. Gloves that are comfortable and wick moisture are great for cold weather runs and walks, while something waterproof is better for longer hikes and snowy weather activities. While fleece is quite warm, it does not repel moisture or wind.
Did you know our bodies use our feet to regulate our core body temperature? Choosing a sock that is comfortable and performs well in cold weather is essential for your comfort. Wool socks are a great option and will keep your feet warm and dry.
During the winter months, it gets dark so quickly. If you’re exercising outdoors in the dark, it is so important to wear reflective gear for your safety. Arm bands, vests and LED lights are easy to find and will help alert vehicles of your presence.
If you are exercising during daylight, be sure to add a layer of sunscreen when you gear up. Any exposed skin, especially on your face, will benefit from sun protection and the extra moisture.
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