Before you hibernate for the rest of winter, consider this: Working out in colder conditions might just help you fire up your calorie-burning engine. Not only will you burn fuel by simply getting out there and moving, your body will expend energy just to keep warm.
While frigid temps definitely don’t sound like ideal running or exercise conditions, the key is to prepare for the storm. Pulling a muscle is a very real possibility in the cold, so a good dynamic warm-up before you run is important, says Joseph Phillips, personal trainer and co-founder of HEAT Running. You’ll also want to layer up so you start strong (and safe!), and can shed layers as you heat up. Here are the running accessories we’re stocking up on in order to brave the cold.
5 Winter Running Must-Haves
1. Heads Up
Most body heat exits through your head, so capping off your winter wear is a must, Phillips says. This Under Armour Infrared Elements Storm 2.0 Beanie is made of ultra soft fleece with a thermo-conductive inner coating to absorb and retain your body heat. ($30; underarmour.com)
2. Helping Hand
Insulate your hands from wind and cold with the Zensah Smart Running Gloves, equipped with smart touch technology so you can change your beats and check your running app stats. Bonus: These gloves lightweight and slim, so you can tuck them away once you’ve heated up. ($30; zensah.com)
3. Hot to Handle
When gloves alone just can’t cut it, add these babies to your gear list. Whether you’re hiking, biking, running or bootcamping it up, Little Hotties will keep your mitts nice and toasty for hours. Simply open the package, give them a shake, and then pop them in your gloves or pockets. Within 10 to 15 minutes they’ll reach max heat that’ll last for up to sight hours. ($40 for box of 40; littlehottieswarmers.com)
4. Hear Us Out
Is there anything worse than that numbing, burning, overall unpleasant effect of exposing your sensitive ears to the cold? Enter the lululemon Run and Done Ear Warmer, designed to keep you warm and fuzzy during cold-weather outings. Ladies, you’ll also appreciate the ponytail opening if you want to wear your hair low. Machine washable and extremely durable. ($32; lululemon.com)
5. Hydration Station
Staying hydrated isn’t just for the heat. Your body needs just as much water in the winter as it does in warm-weather conditions, Phillips says, so make sure to have a supply handy (especially since you’ll be hard-pressed to find a working water fountain in February). Your best bet: Strapping the CamelBak DART to your back. With a lightweight, bulk-free feel, this pack also boasts mesh side pockets, so you can grab your fuel without slowing down. And the reflective details keep you visible on morning and evening runs. ($70; camelbak.com)
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