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How to dress for outdoor exercise in cold weather

Nothing beats outdoor exercise to stimulate the senses and get the blood flowing, but if you live in a climate that has cold seasons you need to learn how to adapt to the chill. Thankfully, with a little preparation and some thoughtful clothing choices, you will be able to enjoy an exhilarating exercise session outdoors during the colder months without risking hypothermia.

We are going to take a look at the best workout clothes for men and women looking to exercise in cold conditions. From layering up to stay warm to ensuring you don’t overheat, we will cover all of the basics to let you enjoy the fresh, crisp air of a cold outdoor exercise session.

Learn to layer your clothing

Tactical layering will make it easier for you to regulate your core temperature by removing clothing one layer at a time. The right materials will also provide moisture wicking when you sweat, which will ensure that you stay warm and dry during a workout when it’s cold outside.

It’s a good idea to start with three layers of workout clothing when exercising in the cold, all with their own purpose to keep you warm:

  • Base layers will promote the wicking of sweat so that you stay warm and dry while working out.
  • Mid-layers work as an insulator and will keep warm air close to your core.
  • Outer layers protect you from the elements and allow trapped air to escape while exercising.

Each layer will serve its own purpose in regulating your core body temperature to keep you warm enough without overheating during an outdoor workout.

Base layer clothing for outdoor exercise

Your base layer is closest to your core and is in direct contact with your skin during a workout. Ideally, you are looking for a material that promotes sweat-wicking to stop sweat from staying on your skin and cooling you down too much. Materials to consider include:

  • Silk
  • Polyester
  • Thinsulate
  • Wool

You can also select a thickness for your base layer depending on the type of activity you will be doing outdoors. Lightweight materials will focus on wicking, with heavier materials working to keep warm air close to your body.

Mid-layer clothing for exercising outdoors

Mid-layer materials are designed to trap warm air and keep you warm and move any sweat away from your core. The mid-layer is a buffer between your inner and outer layers and there are many materials that are suitable, including:

  • Fleece
  • Wool
  • Down
  • Synthetic fills

To facilitate better breathability, many mid-layer clothing options will have zippered vents to allow warm air to escape when you need it to.

Outer layer clothing for cold-weather exercise

Your outer layer acts as a barrier from the elements such as wind, rain and snow. One of the most popular materials for outer layers is GoreTex, which is incredibly lightweight and water-resistant.

Cover any exposed skin and extremities

A good workout outfit for cold weather covers more than your core but takes your extremities into consideration too. When things get cold, our body constricts the blood vessels in our fingers, toes and other extremities to provide sufficient blood flow to our core. However, this can cause all sorts of problems if you are exercising in cold conditions.

Gloves, socks and hats are all excellent approaches to keeping your extremities safe from the elements. Ears in particular are susceptible to the cold, so don’t forget to cover them appropriately when exercising in the cold.

Getting the right outfit for cold weather can ensure that you are safe and committed to your exercise routine even in poor conditions. Once you have found a good, layered outfit it is much easier to enjoy the outdoors during the colder months.

If you are looking to expand your wardrobe with some new activewear such as running shorts, gym shorts or training shorts, visit our store at FLOW today.

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