Cold weather fitness tips: Stay warm, reflective and hydrated
The days are getting cooler and the sun is shining less, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your outdoor workouts. With a few simple tips and the right gear, you can stay fit all fall and winter long.
Start by being flexible with your routine. If you typically hit the trails before work, consider trying to squeeze in a lunchtime jog. The temperatures will likely be higher and the sun is apt to be shining.
Speaking of temperatures, be sure to check the weather before you head outside, and be smart about the conditions. If it seems like it might be too cold, too windy or too wet, it probably is. You’re better off skipping a workout than getting hurt or sick.
When you do go out, dress smart. Start with a base layer that will wick sweat away from your body; that means no cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Under Armour’s ColdGear 3.0 baselayer pants, $74.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods, are perfect if you prefer basic black, or check out Reebok’s cold weather compression space dye pieced tights, $41.25, for some fun color choices.
Another key component to outdoor gear is reflectability. If you can’t get out while the sun is up, make sure your clothing shines bright. For example, Nike offers the Reflective Element half zip running shirt, $89.99, and the Elite running hoodie, $35.99. Both boast reflective properties that “let you extend your training time by keeping you visible in low-light conditions.”
If you’re not a hoodie fan or you can’t get it to stay up over your head when you run (or is that us?), grab the Columbia women’s Trail Summit beanie from Cabela’s. The best part about the $25 hat? It has a hole in the back to slip your ponytail through, Genius!
Now that your head is covered, what about your feet? Check out the Heritage collection from Brooks. Ranging in price from $79.99 to $89.99, the vintage-inspired running shoes use today’s technology to protect your feet from the chill of winter, while still maintaining breathability.
When you layer properly, you’ll feel warm during your outdoor workout. Remember that feeling and then remember to hydrate. Drinking water seems like a no-brainer during the summer months when you’re sweating buckets, but it’s just as important to do when working out in the cold. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should be hydrating before, during and after a winter workout, just like you would during the summer.
And finally, when you return from your workout, make sure you change clothes ASAP. This may sound obvious, but it’s key to get out of wet clothes to help prevent getting sick. Besides, you don’t want to get sidelined by a cold now that you have the tools to maintain your fitness this winter!