Don’t let cold weather get in the way of your exercise routine. You can–and should!—still get outside, even if the mercury is dropping. We’re the first to admit that a walk or jog on a morning when the temperature is hovering in the mid-20s isn’t as pleasant as one when the sun is shining and it’s in the 60s. But if you dress properly, temperature can become nothing more than a state of mind. Here are four simple tips for dressing for exercise in cold temperatures, guaranteed to keep you comfortable through whatever winter brings your way:
Consider Your Activity. Will you be running or walking? Regardless, you’ll start to warm up once you get moving. But you’ll create much more heat by running or jogging than you will by walking, so you can dress a bit lighter for the more vigorous activities.
Dress in Layers. You might see a thermometer reading of 23 and reach for your heaviest coat. But once you’re moving, that heavy jacket could turn you into a furnace. Instead, think about layering and venting. We like a base layer, covered by a fleece or wool layer, topped with a jacket to stop the wind. As soon as you start to feel too warm, unzip the jacket to vent heat from around your neck. Some jackets have zippers under the armpits, which can be a great way to vent heat.
Avoid Cotton. As soft and breathable as it is, cotton can be a cold drag when it gets wet, sapping heat from your body and giving you the chills. We like thin wool layers or even the breathable miracle fibers that vent heat and sweat and still keep you comfortable and dry.
Mind Your Extremities. The last place in your body that blood reaches is your fingers and toes. Be sure to wear gloves—mittens are even warmer—and socks that will keep your feet comfortable yet warm. Hats are great, but if you’re working hard you may want to use a ski band or ear muffs to keep your ears warm while allowing heat to vent.