8 Cold Weather Workout Essentials. Those of us who love to run outdoors all year round, winter is one of the most challenging seasons. It’s cold, slippery and wet and you need to plan your runs well if you don’t mind running at night or getting buried in snow. Luckily, technology is here to help with its many advancements in workout gear that can help keep your winter workouts comfortable and effective.
Dress in layers
Two or three layers, top and bottom, will be enough to keep you warm. The layer closest to your body needs to regulate your body temperature and wick away sweat, the second layer provides insulation and the third protects against the elements. That bottom layer is most important, so look for quality fabrics like Merino or Polartec that will provide you with good sweat-wicking properties and warmth. Another thing to keep an eye on is sleeves. Your safest bet is to choose something with thumbholes that will keep your clothing in place and keep your hands extra toasty.
Invest in good outerwear
When it comes to your final layer, it needs to be waterproof (or water-resistant) yet breathable. What you want is to keep the moisture away from your skin and prevent the sweat from pooling in your gear. The good thing about waterproof items is that they are also windproof, so you can expect some extra warmth. Also, if the weather is capricious, opt for something very light you can stuff in your pocket when the temperatures rise. Garments with reflective strips are also recommended.
Get quality shoes
No matter the weather, you need some good shoes for your workout. You should aim for good support, but also something to keep you dry. Winter-suitable quality running shoes are your safest bet since they are water-proof, have good traction and offer proper breathability and comfort. All in all, check a few running blogs for recommendations and you’ll surely find something for your feet.
Running on ice and snow can quickly end up with an injury and keep you from running for months. So, don’t hesitate to equip your winter shoes with something extra like traction cleats with gripping pikes. Or, you can opt for real snowshoes for winter fitness walking and running. And no, you won’t look like you’re wearing tennis rackets on your feet—modern models are quite small and practical.
Put on a hat
People use a lot of heat through their heads, so you need something that will protect your top and keep you warm and toasty. Today, you will find a lot of headgear options all of which offer insulation and wind- and water-blocking abilities. Also, there are various types of headgear from small and practical headbands for ear protection to beanies, caps and full-on balaclavas for snowstorms. If you find yourself overwhelmed with choices, opt for wool and you won’t go wrong. However, there are also various high-performance fabrics that wick moisture and allow you to stay dry.
And don’t forget sunglasses
Winter sun might not have those familiar warming properties, but it still emits those harmful ultraviolet lights that can damage your eyes. In some cases, you can even end up with sunburns of the eye (photokeratitis). Long-term UV exposure also increases your probability of getting cataracts and macular degeneration, both of which can end in blindness. So, make sure to put on your sunglasses, especially during a snowy and sunny day and choose something with good UV-A and UV-B protection. Most of the running sunglasses are very sturdy, comfortable and lightweight, so you won’t even notice them.
Grab some gloves
Some time ago, runners only had a few glove choices—wool, synthetics or leather. However, today you can find various high-tech options with built-in heaters and batteries perfect for even the coldest of days. There are battery-powered heated gloves or (cheaper) gloves with air-activated hand warmers that can keep you warm for several hours. Just put these warmers in your gloves, pockets or any other garment and enjoy their radiating heat. If you also need to stay dry, you will need special endurance accessories like thermal and waterproof gloves many of which also have touchscreen fingertips so you can operate your phone without too much fuss.
Protect your lips
Cold, wind, dry air and sun can wreak havoc on your lips, so always have a healing lip balm in your pocket. Opt for something natural and full of nutrients that will prevent chapping and make your kisser soft and luscious.
Don’t let low temperatures and slippery snow stop you from getting your invigorating outdoor exercise. Equipped with these cold-weather garments, you will achieve great results on the track all year round.