The Best Apparel for Winter Workouts

Young man resting on a run, sports drink, gatorade, exercise

Source: iStock

Wearing the right workout gear can insulate you against the elements and do wonders for your motivation and performance. Case in point: A 2012 study by the the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that what you wear directly affects how you perform. The researchers went so far as to coin their own phrase to describe this phenomenon, “Enclothed Cognition,” which is a play on the term “embodied cognition,” the idea that bodily sensations can affect the way we feel and think. In regards to enclothed cognition, we associate certain clothing with certain actions. This means that if you want a killer workout, it’s best to wear clothes that will make you want to get outdoors and hit the pavement. Throwing on ratty, old stained clothes just won’t do and may make you want to park your behind on the couch.

That said, as you prepare yourself for your outdoor winter workout, stick to this general rule as you dress: The trick to being comfortable (and looking good) involves getting the right gear that will cover your skin from the cold; look for sweat-wicking layers to keep your muscles warm. To lessen your chance of injury, follow the old-school “25 degree rule,” that suggests dressing for weather that is 25 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. This compensates for the rise in your body temperature during your workout and the rapid decrease afterward.

It’s time to get ready to workout this winter with some smart cold-weather pieces. Remember, your style should never suffer — even when you’re sweating.

1. Nike Men’s Pro Hyperwarm Dri-FIT Max Fitted Long Sleeve Shirt

Source: Bloomingdale’s


To insulate yourself from the heat, this fitted long sleeve shirt features an innovative knit construction that not only keeps you dry but chilly days are no match for this shirt. Wear it underneath a hooded jacket or down vest. Or if you’re not into the solid one above by Nike, give HPE’s Camo-Printed one a try to make your workout a little less boring.

2. The North Face Hats: Bones Fleece-lined Beanie

It was once believed that you lose 40-45% of your body heat through your head, but although a 2008 study by Indiana University debunked this commonly held myth, your head is still one of your body parts that is the most sensitive to temperature. This fleece-lined beanie from The North Face is sure to keep your head nice and cozy and in check when you brave the cold temperatures to work it out.

3. The North Face Chin Curtain Gaiter

chin gaiter

Source: The North Face

Opt for a gaiter instead of a scarf that’s more likely to flap around in the wind. It’s essential for protecting your neck and chin from the elements. While gaiters usually tend to look more “bandito” than “stylish athete,” this one from The North Face adds a little color to your look as well as some major warmth.

4. Nike Men’s Pro Combat Hyperwarm Lite Compression Tights


Source: Dick’s Sporting Goods

If you’re an outdoor runner, then you need these Hyperwarm Lite Compression Tights by Nike. Made with Nike’s signature Dri-FIT construction, they keep you dry while the compression fit helps retain heat for warmth. You’ll be so grateful you have these.

5. Nike Men’s KO Quarter-Zip Long-Sleeve Shirt

This is a great alternative to the Nike Men’s Pro Hyperwarm Dri-FIT Max Fitted Long Sleeve Shirt (No. 1) if you prefer a zip-up rather than a plain long sleeve shirt. This long-sleeve quarter-zip is made with Nike’s Therma-FIT technology which keeps you insulated without you overheating, promising breathability as well when you’re working hard.

6. The North Face Men’s Inlux Insulated Hooded Jacket


Source: Sport’s Authority

This hooded jacket by The North Face is the perfect top layer to insulate you from the elements and prepare you for whatever condition you might face while on the trail or pounding the pavement. It also features a partial fleece lining for a cozy feel with adjustable cuff tables, as well as cinch cords at the hem to provide for perfect fit and coverage.

7. Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater Vest


Source: Patagonia

If you’re more of a vest guy, we hear you. This puffer vest is windproof and insulated. This one comes in bright red to perk you up during the duller winter months.

8. Nike Men’s Printed Tailwind Running Gloves

Didn’t think we’d forget about the hands, did you? These Nike Printed Tailwind Running Gloves will allow you stay outside longer. They’re lightweight and breathable so you can go that extra mile. The best added extra to these gloves is a conductive thumb, which allows you to check your emails and change your music while you workout.

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