For those of you (like me) who workout outdoors even in the colder months, there is a trick to staying warm even when the temperatures tell you otherwise. Whether you go for a jog, walk, or are brave enough to do circuit training outdoors, the correct clothing must be worn to ensure comfort. It is nice to change up your workout routine to outdoors, if you feel trapped inside during the winter months so take a look at the recommended types of clothing to layer with if you are going to face the cold.
*Layering is key, so do not assume you are good with only one layer and a jacket especially in sub-freezing temps.
The Base Layer
This type of layer is like long underwear, and should be made with a wicking material. Your skin will hit this layer when it initially starts to sweat, so it is extremely important to have a layer that will rid you of moisture versus absorbing it and making you colder. While the wicking clothing options will cost more than your basic cotton, it is a good investment in order to stay dry and warm.
The Insulating Layer
This is your layer that traps heat in (which is awesome when it is freezing outside). This layer is a little but thicker and can be a wool or fleece in the form of a half zip or pull over. This can be used for the upper and lower body, as you many pants are made with wool and or fleece to keep your legs warm. As for the bottom layer, this is pretty much all you will need to keep your legs toasty, but you will have another layer to go for your upper body.
The Protective Layer
The last layer you will need is simply a thin protective layer to keep the wind and the rain out. It should be waterproof, and lightweight acting as a shell to the other garments you are wearing. When choosing a protective layer, it doesn’t have to be 100% waterproof, but it should be water resistant to keep you dry in case of an encounter with snow or rain.
Now that you are fully equipped with the clothing you are wearing, you will not want to forget the accessories that will keep your ears, hands, and feet warm. Start off by wearing gloves or mittens (personal preference). I prefer mittens because my hands stay warmer when my fingers can touch each other versus being in gloves where they are isolated. Put on a nice wool pair of socks to make sure your toes do not get frozen, and put on ear warmers or a hat to keep your head warm. If the weather is really whipping, I recommend you invest in a neck warmer, which will keep the wind and rain from going into your protective layer.
Check out this link for a visual on ideas for your winter weather-layering guide.