This week’s FitLabPGH Podcast release is a video podcast to help you keep moving outside through the winter…with a guide for winter workout gear to keep you comfortable from head to toe. If your extremities are cold, you are unlikely to enjoy your outdoor movement session…and you may even be putting yourself at risk of frostbite or hypothermia.
You can listen to the audio, but we think you’ll enjoy the video, so sit back, watch, and then put on the appropriate gear, and opt outside!
First tip: Your Mom was right…you SHOULD wear a hat when it’s cold outside! If it’s just chilly, you can get away with choosing a hat for fit or fashion…like the synthetic Sweatvac beanie that Ben likes to wear under his bike helmet. When chilly becomes cold, Ben switches to wool. His favorite lightweight wool hats are from Smartwool and Voormi (the Dual SURFACE precision blend beanie). For the coldest days, Ben swaps the lightweight wool for a heavier blend, like the SURFACE HARDENED thermal wool precision blend beanie from Voormi. Still cold? Put your jacket hood up over your hat.
Tip 2: the neck…a positive takeaway from the pandemic? Ben discovered he likes wearing a neck gaiter year-round. For warm to chilly days, Ben likes a synthetic gaiter that wicks sweat when it’s hot, and keeps your neck warm when a chilly wind picks up. Shown in the video: “Year of the Coronavirus” neck gaiter from Carson Footwear. Double up the gaiter, and it doubles as a face mask. When temperatures get colder, Ben once again opts for wool. A couple of brands of wool neck gaiters to try? Buff and Smartwool.
Tip 3: the hands…if your hands are freezing, you’re likely to throw in the workout towel. We recommend having a range of gloves…and possibly mittens…available to keep your hands happy. On chilly days, Ben likes the wool gloves from DeFeet…bonus: when it gets colder, the DeFeet gloves make good liners under heavier gloves or mittens. A couple of bike glove recommendations: for cold rides, check out Aero Tech Designs (a Pittsburgh company); for REALLY cold days, consider the Sturmfist 5 from 45 Nrth. Note: nothing from 45 Nrth is cheap, but if you’re looking for durable, cold weather cycling gear, it’s the best we’ve tried. Second note: Lisa’s hands get cold when temps drop below 60 degrees…how does she hike with the Labs through the winter? With liner gloves, AND MITTENS, AND handwarmers in the warmer pockets of the mittens!
Tip 4: finally, socks are the final piece of today’s puzzle. If it’s above 50 degrees, select the synthetic sock that speaks to you. Ben is a fan of DeFeet. Bet you can guess what Ben chooses when temps get chilly? Yep, wool…lightweight wool socks we’ve enjoyed come from CloudLine, Stance, and DeFeet. Ben’s favorite heavyweight wool socks come from Darn Tough.
Take home message: build a wardrobe of hats, gaiters, gloves, and socks that will keep you moving…comfortably, and safely, throughout the winter.
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Attribution for Intro/Exit Podcast Music: Marathon Man by Jason Shaw from the album Audionautix: Acoustic, licensed under an Attribution 3.0 United States License. Available at www.FreeMusicArchive.org