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Winter Warmers: Working Out at the Most Wonderful (but Coldest!) Time of the Year

The winter months can be difficult as a fitness fan. Long gone are the days of comfortably running outside in a tank top, or walking out of the gym in a T-shirt. Bulky layers are necessary to stay warm, especially whilst working out outside, but not entirely practical for high-impact activity – and all the stores are still only stocking tanks and shorts.

Year-round basics…

Sports bras: make sure you have the right level of support for you. Low-impact bras are more comfortable for activities with a lot of stretching, like yoga, but will simply leave you unsupported for high-impact sports. Sports bras are leading the way for funky designs and details like strappy backs, but remember that the bra should be practical, too.

Some great ones can be found here: http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0529035001.html and here: http://www.marksandspencer.com/extra-high-impact-full-cup-sports-bra-a-g/p/p60090677?prevPage=plp&pdpredirect

Three-quarter length leggings: useful for when you are indoors, but still warm enough for low-impact classes like yoga, and to wear to and from the gym. Invest in ones with a wide, or shaping, waistband, as these tend to be more supportive, more comfortable and less transparent. The rise of athleisure means that these are readily available in a wide variety of fun colours and patterns.

These grey and blue leggings are from Adidas are great and can be found here: https://www.adidas.co.uk/ultimate-cut-and-sew-3-4-tights/BR6783.html?pr=nosearch_rr&slot=3. An alternative can be found here: http://www.forever21.com/UK/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=activewear_bottoms&ProductID=2000187913&VariantID=

To and from the gym...

A padded jacket: A coat or padded jacket to wear to from activities will make sure your body doesn’t have to face the shock of going from being very warm to suddenly very cold whilst you travel home. It is advisable to have a jacket or jumper which you only wear after the gym – one that is allowed to soak up the sweat from your hard work-out; then you don’t soil another jumper which then has to be washed often.

Check out this one: https://www.sportsdirect.com/soulcal-micro-bubble-hooded-jacket-ladies-660118?colcode=66011803

Sweatpants: sweatpants can be pulled on over leggings, or once you have shed your leggings after a workout. They are a girl’s best friend. They are also perfect for any scenario: before a workout, after a workout, whilst watching TV, at a wedding (okay well maybe).

Amazon has a fantastic range, such as these blue cotton ones: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ladies-Cotton-Sweatpants-Skinny-Bottoms/dp/B06Y3YWL58/ref=sr_1_10?s=clothing&ie=UTF8&qid=1512035107&sr=1-10&nodeID=1731296031&psd=1&keywords=sweatpants

For winter runs and outdoor sports (brrr)…

Full length leggings: for running, full length leggings are a must. Full coverage and a close fit will give you the extra warmth you need to complete your route or session. As with three-quarter leggings, opt for a wide waistband so they stay up well. Some leggings also include a small zipped pocket at the back, which is perfect for carrying a small phone or mp3 player so that you can listen to music whilst you work out. Also, whilst cut outs or mesh panels might look great, these styles are more suited to athleisure wear or indoor workouts at this time of years, as the exposed skin simply gets very cold!

Forever21 has a great selection, including these ‘Mind over matter’ leggings (http://www.forever21.com/UK/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=activewear_bottoms&ProductID=2000149678&VariantID=) 

A lightweight jacket: a jacket which adds an extra layer of protection from the elements, but isn’t so bulky that it impedes your running, is a lifesaver in for winter runners. Consider whether or not you want hood; sometimes it just gets in the way; a lightweight hat may be more practical if it is windy.

H&M stocks some great styles, like this silver waterproof hoodie http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0524571001.html, and this fleece one here: http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0561479003.html

A long-sleeved top: close-fitting, long-sleeved tops, sometimes known as running thermals, are the best way to keep warm whilst working out outside. Their design of clinging close to the skin provides just as much warmth as a jumper. Wear the top on its own, layer a couple or wear one under a jacket for a variety of different levels of cosiness.

This top from H&M has some great stylish details http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0494428005.html and this skiing top from Forever21 would be just as practical when you aren’t on a mountainside: http://www.forever21.com/UK/Product/Product.aspx?br=F21&category=activewear&productid=2000208225

Running gloves: in extreme cold, some light and comfortable gloves might be needed to keep your mits toasty. Make sure you have a pocket to put them in, too, if your hands get too hot on a run. These gloves would also be great for outdoor sports such as football or hockey.

Some good ones can be found at H&M (http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0511651001.html), or search Amazon.co.uk for more.


Zoe is an English Literature student at the University of Exeter, U.K., and therefore necessarily spends a large proportion of her time with her nose in a book. When someone drags her away from this, she can be found painting messy masterpieces, spending way too much money online, or pole dancing.
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