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11/03/2010 - What to Wear for Winter Workouts

This weekend, we turn the clocks back in a return to Standard Time. Saying goodbye to Daylight Savings Time means more than just less sun during the day…it means we’re closer than ever to winter and the snow and cold that’s bound to accompany its arrival! A chill in the air is no reason to slow down (or even worse…halt!) your exercise schedule. Just know how to dress for the weather and be prepared for the winter season to take hold!




The key to proper winter clothing is layers. Closest to your body, you want a wicking material – Look for thermal underwear made of synthetic fiber like polyester. This layer will help get the moisture from your body away from your skin so that it evaporates, keeping you warm and dry. This type of clothing is often thin, so you’ll have no problem adding more clothing on top. The next layer you’ll want to have is for insulation. Think sweatshirts, long sleeved shirts, fleece tops, and pullovers to keep you toasty.

Finally, you’ll need a layer to protect you from the elements. Wind pants with an insulated jacket on the top will guard against winter’s fury – rain, snow, and sleet. This layer will save you from the wind and should be waterproof.

But that’s not all! If exposed, ears, noses, and fingertips are susceptible to frostbite. Before leaving your comfortable environment, throw on a hat or headband, a pair of gloves or mittens, and a scarf on those super-cold days. If you’re running during the day, make sure you use sunscreen (yes…even in the winter!) and lip balm to shield your skin and lips from the sun and the wind. If you’re headed out after a snowstorm, sunglasses are a must! White snow reflects the sun, making it not only harder for you to see, but also making UV rays stronger.

As for your feet, make sure your running shoes are in good shape. Do they have the traction you need to get through an ice patch or slushy mess? If it’s especially cold or wet outside, you might want to consider two pair of socks or a runner’s socks with wicking material.

Now, with the sun not making its grand appearance until later in the morning and ducking down earlier in the evening, make sure your clothing, gear, or shoes have some reflective component so that drivers and other pedestrians can see you in the dark.

With these tips, you should have no problem exercising until the robins and daffodils peek out again in the spring!

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