When the first nip of cool air hits in fall, it makes you want to go outside and exercise, at least that’s what we want to do. As the weather gets progressively chillier, though, it becomes less exhilarating and more uncomfortable. Should you keep up running to the gym or getting in some extra workouts outside? You can, but it’s important to know how to dress for the weather.
Layer it up for a successful cold weather workout. The goal when you’re working out in winter should be to stay warm and dry, and layering is the way to do that. Correctly layering your clothing can help regulate your body temperature and wick moisture away from your skin. You also want to make sure that when you show up to the gym, you have something dry and clean to move in!
Start with a base layer designed to keep you dry. This layer should be tight-fitting and made of material designed to pull moisture away from your skin. Certain fabrics, like cotton, are bad choices for winter layering because they trap moisture. However, fabrics like polypropylene, silk, polyester, Thermax, Thinsulate, and wool are all viable options. Base layers come in different weights, and the weight you choose depends on the weather. Be aware, though, that the lighter weight fabrics do a better job of wicking.
Add a mid-layer to keep you warm. This is your insulation layer, a bit looser than the first layer but still snug enough to maintain contact with it. Polyester, fleece, wool, and synthetic blends are all popular options for a mid-layer, which should also help carry moisture to the outer layer.
Choose an outer layer that blocks wind, repels water, and yet allows moisture to escape. All the moisture you’ve pulled away from your body and through the other layers needs to go somewhere! Fabrics like Gore-Tex are good at making that happen while still keeping you warm. Make sure you choose an outer layer that’s resistant to tears and abrasions and is wind and water-resistant. Once you’ve layered, you can remove layers as needed when you get too hot.
Don’t forget your head, hands, and feet. Choose an appropriate hat, mittens or gloves, socks and shoes or boots that will protect you from the weather and support your level of activity. If you need to cool down, you can always remove your hat or gloves.
When you choose to work out outdoors in winter, your clothing should manage your exposure to cold temperatures, wind chill, and moisture. There are some cases, though, in which outdoor workouts are simply not appropriate. For some conditions, like asthma and heart problems, symptoms will worsen in cold temperatures if you overexert yourself. If you have a pre-existing condition, talk to your doctor to find out what’s best for you.
There are also times when the conditions are simply wrong for outdoor exercise. If the roads are slick, you may want to stay home and try our virtual club. If the temperatures drop below 0°F, move your workout indoors. It’s easy to get a good workout at your athletic club, and not worth the risk of getting too cold.
When you want an effective workout that doesn’t require you to freeze, Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, is here for it. That’s why we offer world-class training that keeps up to date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join today or contact us to learn more.