More than a year after the first known outbreak of Covid-19, much of the world remains in some form of lockdown. Here in the UK, tier 4 guidelines announced recentlymean that all gyms, lidos and public leisure centers are closed until further notice. But for the brave few, the chilly outdoors is an opportunity to shake up the now monotonous routine of indoor exercise via apps or Zoom, and provides a chance to escape the confines of home (even if only an hour a day).
For Jason Leggett, Barry’s Bootcamp master trainer and outdoor running enthusiast, the cold outdoors is the optimal workout environment — as cold air constricts blood flow, making the heart pump harder. Regardless of your chosen sport, be it running, cycling or HIIT training, Leggett stresses that what you wear is important, not only for performance but also for your mental motivation.
Leggett advises investing in good training or running footwear — something comfortable and durable such as the Nike Pegasus Gore-Tex sneaker (£130, nike.com); a lightweight bag or belt to hold necessary items (like a face-mask and house keys) that won’t distract or feel uncomfortable, such as the Free Train Running vest (£30, freetrain.co.uk), and to purchase good-quality headphones to “keep you focused and energised” (Leggett’s go-to is the Beats Powerbeats Pro £220, beatsbydre.com).
Celebrity personal trainer Henry Ives, director and founder of H+ Performance, based in London, advises beginning your workout inside with a five-minute warm-up. “Start with a simple circuit of lunges, side lunges, glute bridges and planks. This should be good to get you going, so you aren’t starting your workout cold,” he says. His chosen outdoor kit is from Australian label 2XU, which specialises in technical running wear. Its compression tights (from £70, 2xu.com) are breathable and designed to reduce soreness and recovery time, and according to Ives are “next level for comfort, support and warmth whilst not making you too uncomfortably hot”.
So brace yourself for the nippy open air — and also for a great workout — with an edit of cold-weather kit for men and women.
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