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Exercising outdoors through the winter months.

Stay warm when the air turns chilly by dressing in the right workout clothing.

Let’s start from the top…

While there is controversy over how much heat is actually lost through our heads, we do know that a certain amount of heat escapes through our heads, so it is in our best interest to keep our heads covered. If wearing a hat is simply not comfortable for you, then opt for an ear wrap to keep the tender skin on your ears warm. Many fleece materials will have a wicking property helping to “pull” the sweat away from your head.

If not wearing a base layer that is turtle neck, a neck gator can be worn to keep the wind and cold off the neck, helping to keep unwanted wind and chill from reaching the chest.

The type of fabric you choose for your upper body is crucial to remaining comfortable for the duration of your workout. Dressing in layers made of synthetic fabric or wool blends is going to allow the sweat to evaporate keeping your skin dry. Your first layer should be the thinnest layer. Top this with an additional layer of wool blend fabric for added warmth. If needed, add a layer of fleece, which can easily be removed if you get too warm. Another good top layer is a vest made of down or a fleece fabric. A vest will allow your arms to move freely while keep your torso warm.

Although running tights are typically made of a blend of polyester and spandex, they may not seem too warm, but they fit close to the skin and offer compression-like properties that keep the legs warm and offer added support for the avid exerciser. If you find you need something a bit warmer, you can opt for running tights lined with fleece.

For many outdoor runners, cold feet are an issue. It would be wise to choose a pair of running shoes ½ size larger than you normally wear, allowing extra room for 2 pairs of socks. A fabric made of a wool blend will keep your feet warm and dry.

Hands are typically the first part of the body that will be affected by the cold. Gloves made of polyester, spandex and nylon will keep your fingers warm while still allowing movement. Many are now made with touch conductive fabric, allowing you to control your phone without removing your gloves.

Always use caution before heading outdoors. Check the temp, wind chill and humidity. All of the above can make a big difference in the type of activity you choose, your length of time outdoors and the type of clothing that is most suitable.

Until next time, take care!

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