If you don’t know yet already I am a personal trainer and train for an outdoor boot camp called Camp Gladiator. Camp Gladiator is an adult fitness program and yes, it is always outside regardless of the weather and in Texas we definitely have our extreme weather including extreme heat, booming thunderstorms (which happen to be my favorite), freezing cold and the occasional ice storm. Since our workouts are always outside, I’ve become quite the expert in winter layering.
I really love getting to workout in the outdoors because in the gym I don’t feel like I can breathe as freely. However, being in the outdoors can pose a dilemma when the temperatures drop. Through my time with Camp Gladiator, I’ve learned the best way to layer for an outdoor workout in Texas. Now, I am no expert for any of you who live up north with the negative degree temperatures, so I understand if you take it into the gym for the winter, but for those of you not in sub-zero temps who are wanting to run or workout in the great outdoors, I wanted to share some tips & products that I love for keeping my body warm in the cold!
One last thing before I get to those… did you know that you burn more calories while working outside in the cold? It’s true! Your body burns more calories in the cold because your body uses more energy to generate heat. Alright, SO if you’re one of the crazy ones like me here are my tips for keeping you warm for your cold weather training...
The Three Hs
When you are getting dressed for your outdoor workout, you need to make the following three Hs are covered and warm:
Head: make sure your ears are covered!
Hands: find a good pair of gloves!
Hamstrings: make sure to warm up your hamstrings (and really all of your muscles…) with a 15-20 minute warm up before your workout that gets your heart rate up.
Why warm up?
Dynamic stretches (lunges, squats) and warm ups prepare your body for the workout that you are preparing to do and helps to increase blood flow and your muscle temperature. Your body will thank you if you add a warmup that incorporates the movements you will be doing in your workout such as high knees before a run.
A few of my favorite things to keep you warm...
My favorite workout mittens are these from Lululemon, I love mittens because when your fingers are together they are warmer, and I like being able to remove the top of the mitten when my fingers start to get a little toasty.
These Athleta Polartec fleece lined pants are my favorite for cold weather training. They keep you warm without making you feel like you need to add on extra layers and feel super bulky.
I love Athleta for outdoor training, they make such amazing outdoor training apparel, so I have to share this jacket that I got for Christmas last year and that Ashley got in black this year! It is incredibly warm, and feels so amazing inside it’s fleece-lined and perfect for layering for cold weather workouts. Get yours ASAP, because I promise you’ll never want to take it off!
My favorite base layers are from 32 Degree heat. A trainer introduced me to 32 Degree my first year of outdoor training, and this brand is an absolute lifesaver for your cold weather workouts.
These base layers come in a two pack for $17 and I only wear them when it’s under 32 degrees or I will burn up during my workouts, they work super well. The bottoms work the same! You can get yours here!
One more product I’m loving from 32 degrees is this mix-media jacket! It is only $40 and is extremely lightweight, however will keep you very warm during your cold weather training. I love how you can fold this jacket up super small and throw it into your workout bag after you shed it because it is so lightweight.
You can often find 32 Degree products at Costco as on sale, so make sure to pick some up if you see them! Their products also work great for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding as well!
I also wanted to include a resource I share with my training clients, the winter workout layering guide. When I’m not sure exactly what I should wear before a cold weather workout, I check this guide to know how many layers I will actually need. This is a great graphic to save to your phone to pull out before your early morning cold weather run.
My biggest tips for cold weather training are to make sure that you know how to layer well, a good warm-up is essential prior to whatever form of exercise you are doing and to make sure you have a good pair of gloves and something to protect your ears. I hope this is helpful and that maybe it encourages you with the right gear to take your workouts outdoors! And just for a little added motivation, if it seems too cold out to add 20 degrees because that will be the temperature that you feel while you are working out!