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Layering for a Great Workout Outdoors

By Donna Stark

The temperatures are starting to drop, but cold weather doesn’t have to keep you stuck in the gym for your daily workouts. You can still head outdoors for your run, your bike ride, and even your morning walk, but you have to choose the right clothes. Dressing in layers is key to working out comfortably when the air turns brisk and the elements have their way, but that doesn’t mean to throw on sweatshirt after sweatshirt before you head outdoors. There is actually a little bit of “science” behind the layers of clothes that are best for this job, so choose wisely if you want to stay protected and have a great workout as well.

Layer After Layer

Take advantage of the crisp, cool air and continue to exercise outdoors by layering your workout outfits. Why layers? Well, exercising can make it feel up to 30 degrees warmer than what the Weather Channel is telling you, and overdressing can lead to over-sweating, which can unfortunately cause chills, muscle tightness, and discomfort. Wearing layers helps to avoid that because as you get warm, you can remove each layer at a time, and if it gets chilly again, just put the layers back on. Here are the three main layers you want to focus on.

  • Base layer - It is essential to stay dry during a workout in cold weather, so choose a material that pulls moisture away from your body. You should avoid cotton material for this layer because it typically stays wet from perspiration and does not dry fast enough. A good moisture wicking material will take the sweat away from your skin and push it to the outer layers to evaporate.
  • Insulating layer - The second layer is the layer that will keep you warm. Its main job is to trap the heat your body is generating while still allowing your sweat to dry quickly. Fleece pullovers, mock turtlenecks, or vests are perfect examples of what you should look for with this layer.
  • Outer layer - The outer layer is used to protect your body from the weather’s elements. It should be wind and rain-repellent but light enough to work out in and breathable so it doesn’t trap any heat in. This layer can easily be tied around your waist until the time comes when you need it again.

Enjoying the Outdoors

There are so many options when it comes to choosing the types of clothes you layer for your cold-weather workouts. And no matter how you exercise, whether it be running, speed-walking, or skiing later in the season, you can count on staying warm and protected if you make the right choice in apparel. So don’t let those falling temperatures discourage you and keep you penned up in the gym. Just layer up and head outdoors for some fresh air!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.

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