There are a few tricks to the trade to be reminded of as we enter the coldest time of the year. We did some digging to find you the best advice to keep your workouts on track and most importantly, safe. Many ask about layers, jackets, water intake and if to wear gloves. These tips aim to give you more insight as to what and where to bundle up during your jog.
Enjoy these 10 tips for your winter workouts outdoors:
- The 20 degree rule. A good approximation is to dress for temperatures that are 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the actual temperature. So if it’s 20 degrees out, dress for walking in 40 degrees.
- Dress in layers. Layers will keep you warmer than a single layer, and allow for flexibility of removing some of your insulation. Use fabrics that are designed for outdoor sports, fabrics like polypropylene, that wick away moisture to keep you dry rather than sweaty.
- Shed after warm-up. If practical, you can overdress for the first mile or so, until you warm up. This requires you having somewhere to discard the extra clothes, or a way of carrying them.
- If your hands are cold, wear a hat. This is an old boy scout saying, but it works for women too! If you core temperature starts to drop, your body will protect your vital functions by sacrificing your extremities, such as hands and feet.
- If your hands are cold, wear arm warmers. If you suffer from cold hands, then arm warmers may be good for you. If your arms are cold, the blood flow to your hands is both chilled and restricted.
- Don’t sweat through. If you wear too many clothes and sweat too much, you will sweat through your clothes. Once your clothes are soaked, you will become suddenly chilled. This means you will probably have to dress to be slightly cold, rather than toasty warm.
- Windproof layers are a mixed blessing. A windproof layer will boost the insulation value of the underlying layers, which can really help keep you warm. Unfortunately a windproof layer also stops sweat evaporating, which regulates your temperature. A windproof layer is very useful as an extra layer, as it can be wrapped around your waist easily. I will wear it until I warm up, then carry it in case I need some extra warmth later in the run.
- Hydrate. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink. Use your thirst as a guide.
- Try to stay dry. Rain can chill you very quickly, so if you plan to be outside in the rain, you need some rain protection.
- Your lungs are fine! Your lungs will not freeze, not even at -40 degrees. Your lungs may get irritated by the low humidity, but they will get used to that.
Bring prepared will make your outdoor workouts in the winter a much more enjoyable and safe experience. Properly dress yourself for the cold weather and get moving!