It isn’t easy to stay motivated and keep up your winter workout plan. Here are 7 winter wardrobe essentials to keep you inspired through the New Year. 

Today, I was thinking about the way our year begins and ends concerning our health plans, and it truly is a psychological crisis. We start the year by forgiving ourselves for the holiday food blunders and try to mentally begin anew with New Year’s resolutions, which, yet again, are new health and fitness goals. Then, we end that very same year a little sluggish after stuffing our bodies, once again, with every delicious holiday dessert we have access to (in my house that includes everything). And, I can't say I blame us, the decadent warm holiday foods are seducing us to stay inside, sipping a cup of steamy hot chocolate while cuddled up under a blanket or two (or three), all while sedentarily watching a movie or reading a book—practically erasing our wonderful healthy habits from the beginning of the year.

The struggle is real, how do we keep a workout routine through the coldest winter months? If we can even survive the food coma that we are in after the holidays, that is.

Winter Wardrobe Essentials Running in the Snow with Tennis Shoes Kicking up Powder


As the weather turned from hot to extremely cold in Texas, I found my biggest excuse was my “winter” wardrobe. I was so used to running in Nike shorts and a tank top that I forgot what it was like to layer up and face the winter headwinds, all while feeling like my skin was cracking from the cold air. After completing my first half marathon, I knew it was important for me to keep logging miles to stay in top shape…but the cold…and the wind…and the temptation of my warm fire and a soft couch. Anyway, I’ve struggled through it and decided not to beat myself up over the cardio days I have missed. 

I do think that it’s critical to think about your winter wardrobe when it comes to motivation. If you have all the gear you need readily available, being too cold will be one less excuse to use to miss being in the great outdoors. Trust me; your New Year’s health resolution list will be much smaller if you can find a way to stay active through the winter months.

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Here are 7 winter workout essentials to help keep you on track! Let’s start at the top of the head and work our way down.

Head Gear

Winter Wardrobe Essentials Workouts with Headband and Gloves from Lululemon

Via Lululemon

I’m not talking about the kind your orthodontist made you wear! Finding a couple of great headbands or hats to ensure you keep some of that heat inside is essential to keeping a balanced temperature. Frozen ears can also be miserable. I recommend having more than one, just so you can cycle through them when they are in need of washing.

If you haven't discovered the wonderful line of Lululemon products, you must check out their site. Their headband (featured above) is only $26 and will be sure to last for many outdoor winter activities. My suggestion would be to make a space in your closet or dresser for all of your workout clothes, so when the inspiration hits you're ready to go and don’t have to search for headbands, socks, and gloves.

Winter Wardrobe Essentials Man Running in the Cold with Hat and Gloves

Via Gear Junkie

A beanie is a great option for all you guys (and girls) out there. If you’re not into headbands or maybe lack a little hair on top, these will definitely help regulate your body temperature. Just like all running/workout gear, keep in mind that you want something warm, but lightweight.

Winter Wardrobe Essentials Headphone Ear Muffs

Via 180s

If you can’t run without music but don’t enjoy wearing headphones, plus other head gear, these soft and wind-resistant ear warmer headphones are for you. At only $35, I think these are definitely a good investment!

Face Masks

To prevent burning lungs a facemask can be just the thing you need. Don’t worry about looking like a bank robber, because chances are people will just assume you are an intense person who loves to workout so much that the extreme cold can’t even stop you! As with anything in life, you can get really fancy or keep it simple. Check out your local sports store to find a good fit.

Jackets and Layers

Winter Wardrobe Essentials Man and Woman Running in Winter with Jackets along Coast


The temperature you’re running in will definitely affect the amount of layers you will want to wear. If you’re working out in the balmy 40 degree Texas winter weather, you won’t need 3 shirts plus a jacket (you may feel like you do, but you’ll warm up fast). Consider what is a safe amount of clothing for the climate you live in. If you’re dealing with temperatures below freezing, you will definitely want to wear multiple layers. Try a moisture wicking fabric for your first layer. End with a lightweight wind-resistant jacket. For temperatures in the 40s, I usually wear a tank top and long sleeve shirt or a light jacket. I feel like the bottom layer helps absorb any moisture while the jacket keeps me warm (enough).


Winter Wardrobe Essentials Woman Running in Winter with Black Gloves and Pants and Blue and White Jacket

Via Huffpost Living

Not only can hands get extremely cold during a long run on an icy day, but they can become dry and begin to crack. Between freezing temperatures outside and exposing your hands to warmth inside (like hot water), your hands take a beating during the winter. Add overexposure to the cold and you’re truly in trouble! Make sure you add multiple pairs of gloves to your wardrobe for winter.

Helpful tip: If you have to have music while you run, and gloves get in the way of working with a touch screen, consider touch screen gloves

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Running Pants

Winter Wardrobe Essentials Mens and Womens Cold Weather Running Pants

Via Huffpost Healthy Living

It’s hard to motivate ice-cold legs to get off the couch and get moving. But if you layer according to the weather, it should encourage them a little more! I think that anything in the 40s and up calls for one pair of thick winter running tights. However, if you’re braving the 30s and below, you may need to wear more than one pair of pants. If that is the case, I would layer with running leggings, and another set of running pants (whatever you prefer that is less fitted than the leggings so you don’t die trying to get two pairs of tights on). Also, a good tip to remember for the gentlemen out there, is that there is something called windproof boxers. For reasons I’m sure you understand, this would be a great layer to begin with.


Winter Wardrobe Essentials Running through Puddles in Compression Socks and Running Shoes in a Winter Landscape

Via legsmart

Working out continuously can make your feet look rough enough as is; try adding a little frost bite into the mix, and you’re in big trouble if you want pretty feet. But seriously, having enough warm socks will ensure the safety of your little piggies. Finding socks that fit the shoes you have is also an element to think about when gearing up for the winter months ahead. Make sure you are buying thermal socks like these at Under Armour.


Winter Wardrobe Essentials Running in the Snow with White Winter Running Shoes

Via Boston

Lastly, you will want to stock your closet with an appropriate winter tennis shoe. These might not always look amazing, but your warm and dry feet will thank you as they tread through snow, puddles, and the icy cold. If you’re just beginning running often, and you live in a place that accumulates snow and ice, check out these winter shoes from North Face. If you recently moved to a new state or city where it is colder than you are used to, researching the right shoe will be important to keeping you motivated to stay active outside. You will want to look for a shoe that is water resistant and has a thick tread for the slick days. If you already have the perfect shoe but need a little more tread, check out this great little accessory, which adds extra traction.

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I hope this list helped you learn how to prepare so you can easily stay motivated! Whether you are running, walking, extreme-sporting, or cross-training outside during the winter, having the correct gear will keep you on the right track. Think of this as an investment in your health. Both physical and mental because who wants to go crazy running on a treadmill all winter? The decision is yours, but at the beginning of a new year, when you’ve maintained a healthy balance in life, you’ll be happy you can focus on a new resolution that doesn’t involve trying to stay on track!

What are your tips for keeping up your workouts through the winter? Do you have any gadgets or “musts” that you couldn’t live without? Please share this with your friends to help them stay motivated and comment with your winter workout wisdom! Because we need all the motivation we can get, right?!

**Featured image via Shape