Right now, with winter closing in on us, the prospect of limiting your workouts to a warm, cosy gym could look very appealing. However, you need to actually get to that gym first – and, as the frost settles on pavements up and down the land, a simple cotton sweater and a long-sleeved shirt will no longer suffice.
So, how can you layer your attire for winter in a way that keeps the cold out but doesn’t leave you feeling like you are taking apart a Russian doll when you are peeling those layers off at the gym itself?
Start with the base layer
This will be the layer that rests on your skin – and, consequently, you need a tight-fitting and wicking material if you want to keep as warm and dry as possible. While silk, polyester and merino wool would all be good examples of such material, Verywell Fit urges you not to choose cotton, as it would trap too much moisture.
Don’t cut out the middle layer
Yes, however often you may have been advised to cut out the middleman, you shouldn’t think about doing the same with the middle layer, because this would be your “insulation layer”, as Showbiz Cheat Sheet puts it.
While this layer should sit slightly more loosely than the base layer, it should still stay in contact with it. Polyester and fleece would be ideal materials for the middle layer – and, reassuringly, it’s not hard to find a good online supply of polyester and fleece tracksuits for men.
Seal the deal with your outer layer
You would be doing some rather literal sealing here, as the outer layer should be worn to trap heat. Nonetheless, this layer should still let moisture escape the other way.
A shell suit can be a good candidate for your outer layer – and you could find one sufficiently tough to block wind while also preventing tears and abrasions. You can also take confidence if you see a particular suit advertised as being wind- or water-resistant.
Accessorise for your head, hands and feet
These accessories can include a hat and gloves or mittens – and, conveniently, you can simply remove any of these if, at any time, you feel yourself overheating. You should also wear socks as well as resilient footwear like shoes or boots, all the while accounting for your activity and the weather conditions.
Remember to include some high-visibility kit, too
One risk of being out and about in winter is that, due to the daylight hours shortening, you could too easily go unnoticed by road users. This warning is especially worth heeding if you like to have an early-morning or evening run to make your way to or from the gym and you cross or run along roads in the process.
“As the dark evenings set in, it is definitely worth investing in some high-vis kit so that you can be seen by drivers and other road users,” former Great Britain competitive runner Louise Damen tells the Independent.