When you’re dressing for a winter jog, you’re probably thinking: layers, layers, and then more layers. Choosing what to wear for running in cold weather isn’t rocket science, but it’s easier than you think to overdress.
It seems counterintuitive, but if you want to stay comfortable for miles in any weather, removing a layer is your best bet. Don’t worry, you’re not going to freeze to death. As a general rule of thumb, you should be dressing like it’s 20 degrees warmer than the actual outside temperature. For example, if it’s 45 degrees, opt for a moisture-wicking long-sleeved shirt and leggings. At 35 degrees, add a light jacket or vest, thicker leggings, a fleece headband, and gloves. As temperatures dip into the 20s, you’ll keep comfortable in a heavier fleece-lined jacket, fleece-lined leggings, a fleece or wool hat, and gloves.
“Running raises your heart rate and increases blood flow, and your body heats up after the first 5 to 10 minutes,” says Kelsey Quinn, running expert and assistant cross country and track and field coach at the University of Portland. “If you dress in several layers, you may get too warm during the run.”
Quinn recommends getting your heart rate up with some indoor exercise, specifically some light cardio. Before heading out into the cold, grab a jump rope or spend five minutes doing butt-kicks, high-knees, and side shuffles.
Now that you’re ready to brave the cold, impress passersby knowing you’ll feel much better in a few layers than you would rocking two turtlenecks, a jacket, and a puffy vest. Promise.
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