Whether yoga practice warms you from inside the body like hatha flow yoga or warms you from the outside first like Bikram hot yoga, cold days seem to stiffen the body. Layers of clothing that don’t restrict movement and can be removed as the body warms are the key to easing into flexibility.
Yoga and Pilates Dress Suggestions for Warmth on Cold Days
Cold day dress for yoga and pilates class takes into account getting into a cold car and driving or even walking to a semi-warm building:
- Start with a sleeveless wicked T-shirt as in moisture wicking fabric and cotton cropped bottoms.
- Wear a long sleeved shirt (Target and Walmart have inexpensive cotton shirts) over the T shirt.
- Top the above with a zip up sweatshirt that doesn’t fall lower than the waist. Wear yoga socks with either open toes or separated toes with floor grippers on the feet.
- If needed, use leg warmers that extend from either the thigh to the ankle or under the knee to the ankle.
- Layers can be peeled as body temp rises.
- Gym workouts can follow the above “ clothing prescriptions” or substitute long pants of cotton or spandex stretchy fabric.
Avoid Foot and Toe Cramping in Cold Weather Exercise
Wear a thin sock to avoid foot and toe cramps or a half stocking under cotton socks and a secure tie up sneaker. Don’t use rocker or fitness sneakers for indoor gym exercise; it isn’t necessary and can cause imbalance as you go to and from various pieces of equipment and exercises.
Dressing for Outdoor Workouts
Outdoor workouts are challenged by multiple layers and avoiding both hampering movement and having to carry excess clothing when disrobing or shedding layers. The goal is a maximum of two flannel or thermal layers. Both layers are long sleeved and one outerwear layer preferably with a hood. The hood, either from an inside shirt or outside jacket, serves two purposes. It blocks cold air from behind onto the neck and prevents heat escaping from the head.
Outdoor Head Wear for Cold Weather Exercise
Heat rises and this affects the human body as well as the environment though on a lesser scale. Some believe keeping the head warm helps the upper body maintain its warmth. The trick is to retain warmth not moisture. Heat is often believed to escape from the head but not all body heat is dependent on covering the head. Similar to using sunscreen before you go out and get sun, so should you put a hat on before the head gets cold.
Headwear should prevent moisture and wetness from being trapped on the skull whether from air moisture or body sweat. Stocking caps and earmuffs can keep the head warm and don’t interfere with movement.
Retaining the warmth when finishing class or exercise or equally important. When finished the layers go back on before going back into the cold.