The Best Kit for Cold Workouts in the Winter
Written By: SportsShoes
The cold winter months can mean that early mornings down at the gym can feel like training in the arctic. As well as being uncomfortable, working out with cold muscles can also mean an increased risk of injury - but on the flip side of the coin, wearing warmer clothes can lead to overheating later on in our workout as we warm up. Here’s what to wear to effectively regulate your body temperature pre, during and post workout.
It’s All About Layering
Your aim is to maintain a comfortable body temperature, before during and after your workout. You’ll need to keep your muscles warm before and after your training session, but you’ll also need to stay cool and comfortable without overheating during the higher intensity elements of your workout.
That means you’ll need to layer functional performance clothing that can be easily peeled off as you warm up – and replaced as you cool down.
The Base Layer – Main Workout
This is the layer closest to your skin and is what you’ll wear for the main part of your workout. Its function is to help wick excess moisture from your skin and aid cooling as you heat up during your training session.
It should be lightweight and made from breathable fabric that wicks sweat away from the skin to keep you cool and dry as you work out. That can be a T-shirt or vest, shorts or even compression tights, but the most important thing is that it should be made from technical fabric with moisture management fabric.
For particularly cold days you can change up your usual T-shirt for a long sleeved top and shorts for tights, but be mindful that you’ll warm up fast as you train.
The Insulating Layer – Warm Up, Cool Down
You’ll wear this layer for your warm up and cool down. The purpose of the insulating layer is to keep your muscles warm and flexible as you loosen up before the main part of your workout – working out with cold, tight muscles is a sure-fire way to wind up with an injury. As you gradually warm up, you’ll peel off this layer, leaving the base layer underneath.
This layer is also important for cooling down. The aim of the cool down is to gradually slow breathing and heart rate and return the body to its normal core temperature without cooling down too fast. Staying warm after your workout is vital for recovery in helping avoiding muscle cramps and dispersing lactic acid. After your workout heat loss can be rapid, especially with accumulated sweat on the skin. Cooling down too much and too quickly can “shock” the system and lower immunity.
A technical fleece hoody or top is a great option for pre and post workout. Insulating, warm and comfortable, these tops are also highly breathable and will continue to allow moisture to evaporate while insulating the body. They have an ergonomic fit and design that allows you to move freely while you warm up and cool down and can also can be quickly and easily removed and put back on. For your bottom half, technical fleece pants are another great option, or you could even try layering fleece shorts over compression tights.