To my everlasting dismay, cold weather is upon us, even here in the milder-wintered Mid-South. I’ve had to pull out the extra layers, which always makes me laugh because for years I didn’t even own a real winter coat. My extra weight kept me warm, I guess. Plus, it’s not like I was outside doing anything back in those days.
For a couple of years after I lost weight, I headed indoors at the first dip in temps. This meant that, other than the odd day here and there, from Thanksgiving to St. Patrick’s Day I was robbed of a lot of sunshine and was a teensy bit cranky.
But I’m older and wiser now, and I’ve acquired the appropriate winter attire. If it’s gloomy and grey, as it was today, I stick to the gym. But if it’s sunshiney and around 50° or so, I head out for some fresh air and Vitamin D. Here’s what you’ll find me wearing on those days:
– Base layers, top and bottom. Nice and soft, perfect to wear against my skin. Mine has wicking (Coolmax or Dri-fit, I forget) to pull in sweat and help regulate my body temp.
– Middle layer (which is sometimes my outer layer on warmer days) I wear fleece, but wool would also work. It traps warm air between layers, but allows for full movement.
– If necessary, I wear an outer layer jacket, which is waterproof and windproof but breathable. My jacket is GoreTex, but PolarTec would do. (Note to self: Must take photo in my 3-sizes-too-large-but-it-was-free-Marmot-jacket.)
– Hat or headband. I was resistant to the hat idea (lest I mess up my hair, you know), but when I read (and felt) that we can lose 60% of our body heat without a hat, I converted. For now, I’ve been using the hood on my sweatshirt, but I’m on the lookout for a stylish but warm hat. My hair can be restyled.
– Gloves. Mine are waterproof and generally warm, but I’m hoping to pick up some glove liners for extra warmth this season.
– Socks. My walking shoes have mesh inserts, so my feet get cold in a hurry. A while back I asked for advice to help keep them warm while exercising outdoors and received all kinds of great tips. And then I failed to act on any of them. (In my defense, I think I was so excited when Spring rolled around that I forgot to look for warm sock sales. This year for sure! ) For now I’m doubling up. Fortunately, my new Saucony’s have a toe box big enough to accommodate.
– Lip balm. A must for me in cold weather. I wish I had a dollar for every time I get to the end of the street and realize I don’t have it.
New for this year: I found my ear warmers (in the hall closet with my gloves, of all places!), so I’ll be adding those to the ensemble. I also found a balaclava, but to be honest, if it’s that cold outside, I’ll probably just head to the gym.
But who knows, you might see me walking in sub-45° weather this year. If the sun is shining and there’s not a lot of wind.
Do you exercise outdoors in winter? What do you wear to keep warm?