How to Stay Active & Warm this Winter

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Infographic depicting how to layer clothing to stay warm while exercising with a base layer, mid layer, and outer layer.
Infographic from ACSM

Whether you are planning on exercising or socializing outdoors this winter we have some tips to help you retain your heat! We want you to dress like an onion, and by that, we mean layers.

Dress in Layers

  • First layer (against your skin): Wicking
    • Wicking materials are often made from synthetic fabric or wool.
    • You actually want to avoid cotton as your first layer because it loses its insulating properties when it gets wet from your sweat.
  • Second layer: Heat retaining
    • This can be a sweatshirt, flannel, insulated coat, etc.
    • You may also want to wear thermal underwear, thick socks, gloves, and a hat.
  • Third layer: Wind blocking
    • A good windbreaker or a raincoat will work, preferably with a hood.

*Make sure there is some space between your layers, if your layers are too tight they will not insulate you properly.

Exercising in the Cold

There is a little bit of a “be bold, go cold” factor when exercising outdoors in cold weather. Your body is going to heat up and the layers that kept you warm at the beginning of your exercise might end up being too warm toward the end. You may want to be a little cold at the beginning of your outdoor exercise, even if it is slightly uncomfortable at first. It may take some trial and error to figure out the right combination of layers that work best for you.

  • Dress in layers that can easily be modified or taken off.
    • Think armpit vents that you can open or a jacket you can tie around your waist.
    • Hats or ear warmers, gloves, and warm socks are great additions to cold-weather workouts.
  • Focus on wicking fabrics as your baselayers when exercising because they will maintain their insulating properties even when you are sweating.
  • Stay hydrated.

Socializing in the Cold

  • Dress in layers.
    • I would really recommend thermal underwear for situations where you aren’t going to be very active.
  • Bring something to sit on (chair, blanket, cushion, etc.).
  • Bring snacks.
  • Stay hydrated (but not with alcohol).
  • External heat sources (campfire, propane heater, etc.) can also be a nice addition to a winter outdoor social event.

Share your tips for how you stay warm and active in cold weather!

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One thought on “How to Stay Active & Warm this Winter

  1. Hello! Thanks for such a detailed and informative article. It seems to me that this is really very useful information, I emphasized a lot for myself after reading it. I always experience a feeling of cold, I can even freeze in the summer under a warm blanket, I’m not a grandmother yet, but it’s probably just a feature of my body, but it seems to me that this can be improved thanks to your advice on how to dress correctly. I also noticed earlier that it is better to dress in layers than one very warm thing. Thanks again for the tips, I’ll try to stick with them next times.

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