Activewear that will keep you warm in winter, recommended by the experts

Lacking motivation to run, cycle or train outside now that winter’s here? These pieces, recommended by the outdoor exercise pros, will keep you warm.  

If you’re someone who hibernates come November, only popping outside for essential food shops and coffee runs, then it’s safe to assume you might grimace at the thought of outdoor exercise in winter. In fact, you might go as far as to wonder how those who have no choice but to face the elements for their job, sport or hobby actually manage it? 

Well, runners, hikers and even personal trainers, who now have to run in-person training in the great outdoors, have their own tried and tested solutions for getting through their sessions freeze-free. So who better to ask for really warm activewear recommendations?

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An expert explains the benefits of exercising outdoors in winter

Whether you’re in need of something to throw on over your running kit or some leggings that keep the heat in while you do burpees in the park, we asked the fitness experts for their recommendations. Here’s what they think is worth a purchase to see you through winter training. 

  • Have a base layer

    “I usually suggest layers over heavy items as it’s easier the take off a layer of clothing rather than drag a puffer jacket around when you start to warm up,” says personal trainer Veowna Charles. “I suggest a good base top under your outfit to keep warm and dry. When I’m spending hours outdoors training clients I reach for the Reebok ThermoWarm Base Layer Top.”

    Shop Reebok ThermoWarm Base Layer, £37.95


  • Add insulation

    “This Northface knit is such an effective insulator that sometimes it actually makes me too warm!” says fitness editor Meriam Ahari. “Surpringly, it’s pretty lightweight so I can tie it around my waist when I need to. This is exactly what you need if you’re looking for activewear that’s guaranteed to keep you warm on chilly runs.”

    Shop Northface Diablo Fleece Jacket, £90


  • Shelter from the wind

    “Training in winter means braving the elements so having a lightweight breathable jacket will keep you warm, and still allow full range of movement when exercising is a necessity,” says Kerry Dixon, former sprinter and co-founder of The Athlete Method. This Nike Tech Pack Running Jacket keeps wind and water out during winter running. 


  • Use compression

    “During the winter I usually alway wear 2XU Compression tights for running,” says personal trainer and runner Tashi Skervin-Clarke. “Compression material helps to increase blood flow to my legs to get your muscles warm up more quickly and help them stay warm too. That’s especially needed when running in the winter to help prevent injury. I also find that these tights are really breathable too due to their moisture-wicking technology.”

    Shop 2XU Compression Tights, £80


  • Cover the ears

    “There’s no coming back once my ears are cold,” says fitness writer Chloe Gray. “While I associate headbands with 80s aerobics, they are a saviour when I run, preventing headaches and misery but without overheating. This Adidas headband is perfectly elasticated so it doesn’t slip about, and the fleece lining keeps my ears toasty.”

    Shop Adidas Headband, £17.95


  • Keep the arms free

    “I often find running in jackets can leave me feeling a bit claustrophobic, especially when I’m doing distance running,” says Tashi. “Instead, I usually opt for layers and a gilet. This means my arms are free to move whilst running but my chest remains warm. This Under Armour Run Vest is my go-to.”

    Shop Under Armour ColdGear Run Vest, £105


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Images: Getty / Brand’s own

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