What to consider when choosing winter sports gear

Winter running exercise couple

Staying fit in the cold can be somewhat of a challenge, especially when on rainy days all you want to do is cuddle up with a good book. It’s time to drop the bad weather excuses and get your summer body in shape. Winter comfort foods like soup and freshly baked bread will let you add a few extra kilos, which can quickly be taken care of if you exercise at least thrice a week. Not only will you be keeping fit, but you’re also going to reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.


Dress “dry”


Being wet is the quickest way to lose body heat. Not only should you be dressing warm, but also dress in clothing that will keep you dry. Exercising in winter exposes your body to two kinds of wet: perspiration and precipitation. Ladies can’t only wear their exercise bras and tights when going for a run in the cold, and men can’t simply throw on any T-shirt and sweats. The winter gear you choose shouldn’t just keep you warm, but also dry. Warmth is a secondary aspect when it comes to choosing exercise clothes for winter, as your body will primarily take care of its own heat. Our bodies are able to regulate temperature, that’s assuming you are dressed for the appropriate temperature.


Avoid wearing cotton


Cotton is great for sleeping in but not so much exercising. Cotton absorbs sweat and water, and holds in fluids. As a result the wet fabric on your skin will instantly take away your body heat and leave you with an unwanted chill. Your workout will be cut short which and increase the risk for hypothermia. Unlike cotton, synthetic fibers are great for working out in. The polyester, nylon and polypropylene will absorb moisture about 50% faster than cotton. However, synthetic fibers won’t keep you fresh. They smell after soaking up sweat. Keep a fresh change of clothes and put your active wear in the wash.


Layer up


When exercising in cold weather it’s best to dress in layers. Layering your exercise gear will provide greater insulation from the cold and allows for better freedom of movement. Wearing the correct amount of layers will trap warm air next to your body while allowing moisture to escape. The first layer should be made up out of a thin layer of synthetic fibers to soak up excess sweat. Your middle layer could be an optional polar fleece for extra warmth if it’s really cold outside. Your outer layer, also known as the shell, is there to protect you from wind, rain or snow. The weather will depend on the outer layer you’ll be wearing. It can either be a nylon windbreaker, a vest or a heavyweight, water-repellent jacket. Bear in mind, the more water-repellent the outer layer, the less it breathes, making it difficult for sweat to escape.