Bundling Up

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?

10 thoughts on “Bundling Up

  1. You already know my answer to this…..of course, I exercise outside when it’s cold. It’s my FAVORITE time to be outside. You’ve got it right – layers, layers, layers. No reason at all to be cold. Always remind yourself that there are a whole lot fewer germs in the big open outdoors than in the gym. Not to mention blue skies and vitamin D.

  2. this is my biggest fret about our move.
    I dont own the right bundling stuffs yet.
    Im printing your tips :-)

  3. Even in southern CA, it can get COLD in the early morn here. I run outside on the weekend & EARLY & it cane be mid-high 30’s to low 40’s!!!! I have a pair of running tights, gloves & yes, I double layer for sure.. I also have one layer with a high neck for warmth!!!! The rest of the week is in the gym! :)

  4. I’m definitely a fair weather walker now although it wasn’t always this way. I have a friend in Anchorage, Alaska who insists there is no problem with cold weather except inadequate clothing. I have to disagree. I still remember, 38 years after living there, having to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield, going outside to start our cars every couple of hours when we were at work and walking from the parking lot to the office building when both the hairs in our noses and our purses would freeze. I have a BIG problem with cold weather. I hate it!

  5. I can bike into the mid 40s, although that is starting to push it. I will walk if it is in the 40s and sometimes upper 30s if I feel like bundling up. The problem around here is that people are pretty crappy about shoveling sidewalks and it is just too hard/dangerous to walk on them. I have the trainer inside so I can get my exercise in and just pop vitamin D during the winter months…. scurrying off to do so.

  6. We wear layers for outside walking. I have some mittens that I find to be warmer than gloves, earbags to keep my ears nice and warm. Sometimes I wear a scarf tied around my neck if there is a lot of wind.

  7. I have been educating my 5 year old on the importance/benefits of layers. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to have that t-shirt on underneath the long sleeve. I’m in the mid south as well {North Carolina} so I shared your feelings as you stated in the first part of the post. Thanks and stay warm.

  8. I am not a winter person, and while our winters are mild compared to yours, I prefer to sweat it out in the gym in the colder months. Actually, I wish I could fly to warmer climes…

  9. I’m not an outdoor exerciser UNLESS we get a bunch of snow then it’s snowshoe time! (Well ski time for the Mr) I don’t go out if it’s below 25 degrees but when we do, it’s thermals, jeans, hiking boots, long sleeved shirt and a medium weight winter coat that can take a fall in the snow. It hasn’t happened yet but ripping out the shoulders in a more fitted winter coat is not on my to do list. :-)

  10. My problem is that I can’t keep warm no matter what I do. With this annoying Raynaud’s Syndrome, my hands and feet get so cold that they ache, even when the rest of me is warm. I’m trying mittens again this winter, though. And Craig bought me a bunch of warmers to slip inside so hopefully that will help. Now, to get a plan in motion for my feet!

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