4 Stay-Warm Strategies for Winter’s Outdoor Workouts

By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com

I usually prefer outdoor workouts to indoor workouts—you don’t have to worry about fighting for the treadmill at the gym, the scenery can be inspiring and the fresh air is invigorating. But as the temperature drops, you might be tempted to head indoors. Don’t let the weather ruin your workout plans. Use the tips below to stay warm until spring.  

Step One: Select the right shirt.

Layers are an exerciser’s best friend. Your first layer should consist of a long-sleeve undershirt (I love turtleneck and mock turtleneck athleticwear) made of wicking fabric without any buttons or zippers. Then, cover it with a sweatshirt made of a “Polar-guard” type of material. If needed, add a final layer of a wind-resistant shell or jacket. Even though it’s cooler out, you still have to worry about sun protection. I recommend choosing sun-protective clothing, like Coolibar.

Step Two: Go light on your lower half.

Your legs will stay pretty warm once you get going, so you don’t need as many layers on your lower half. Jogging tights are a good option because they don’t move and won’t chafe your skin. When it’s cold, you can add a layer of pants made of a “Polar-guard” type of material.  

Step Three: Don’t forget about your feet.

Don’t just throw any old socks on your feet. To keep your toes toasty, steer clear of cotton socks—once they get wet, they stay wet! Go for a sock made of material that wicks moisture away from the skin; I like Thorlos socks, which you can find at sporting goods and athletic specialty stores.

Step Four: Accessorize. 

Your body loses a large amount of heat through your head; you can retain heat by wearing a head covering of some sort. A simple ski cap or headband that covers your ears will work on most days. When it’s very cold, you may want to go with a full head mask (look for one made of a wicking material; running specialty stores sell them). Also, you may want to consider investing in running gloves. They protect you from the cold and sun damage. My favorite: the Men’s Brisk Run Gloves from Lululemon. Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Also Read:

My Best Fitness Investment

Use Yoga to Reduce Aches and Pains after Snow Skiing

Increase Your Body’s Fuel Efficiency in the Winter

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