Winter Fitness Wear

A lovely morning

for chocolate


(it’s hard to decide between dark chocolate with sea salt or almonds. This bar has both, which solves the dilemma. I always like a piece in the morning while breakfast cooks to wake me up)

eggs and toast


and a superfun Zumba class.

I’m excited to get to take classes and assist this week instead of teaching them so I can roll at a slower pace –when I teach, I like to go cccrrraaazzzyyy-and warm up a little in the wintery chill. I tend to stay indoors as much as possible during winter, unless I go for a run, or bundle up like this and take Bell for a walk:

a_christmas_story Source

I used to really, really despise the winter, which is laughable since I’ve only lived in fairly warm climates.


(Valdosta, GA = crops in January)

It still gets pretty cold here in Tucson, but definitely no blizzards or constant snow storms for us… or I might die.

Anyway, winter and I still aren’t really pals, especially when it comes to outdoor workouts, but things have definitely gotten better since I discovered comfy and functional winter active wear.

Here are some of my favorite warm and toasty workout pieces:

Running tights/crops:

image Asics Running Tights

I have a pair of the Asics crops, and not only are they super stretchy and comfy, they’re actually warm, too. Nike also makes some good ones, so I’ll usually hit up the outlet and see what I can find.

Layering tanks:

image Cotton tank from Target

In the summer, I always prefer tech tank tops over cotton, but in the winter, cotton seems to feel better. It holds heat and stays in place, while giving a base layer for either a long-sleeved tee/zip-up or jacket

Long-sleeved tech tee or zip-up

I’ll either skip this one and just wear a warm jacket/zip-up over the tank, but if it’s even colder, I’ll add a long-sleeved layer in there too. This tech tee is one of my favorite because it doesn’t feel too heavy layered under a jacket, and has thumbholes to help keep it in place.

image Long-sleeved tee

Warm zip-up or jacket

For moderately cold weather, I love this Nike half zip

image Nike top

and for even chillier, I break out the North Face.

image North Face

(the fleece version is extra cozy, too)


My head feels like it’s suffocating in a full beanie, so instead, I prefer these thick ear warmer headband things to keep my ears from freezing.

image NB headband 

As far as gloves go, they make some awesome techy running gloves, or you can do like me and get the ones from Target or Walgreen’s for a few dollars (this way, when I lose them, it’s not such a big deal). My hands usually warm up fairly quickly, so I’ll either put the gloves in my pocket or leave them on the sidewalk to grab on the way back.

All of these are great for running, outdoor bootcamps or HIIT workouts. Just make sure to layer as necessary, protecting your hands, ears and feet.

Here are some tips for staying safe outdoors for cold weather workouts

How often do you work out outside in the winter? What workouts do you depend on to warm you up?

Some of my faves:

-Dance cardio- Zumba or DJ Dance Cardio… we steam up the windows!

-Spin- I always warm up quickly in spin

-Hot yoga- It feels so good to walk into a hot yoga room and instantly feel like a normal person instead of a snowball.

Off to work for a little while- see ya later with a Family post <3



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  1. Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] on December 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

    OMG, I LOVE that you eat a pc. of dark chocolate first thing in the a.m. before my breakfast — you’re my hero (& that bar is delicious!)

    • Fitnessista on December 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

      since i can’t have a ton of coffee right now, it’s been a perfect replacement 🙂 perks me right up!

      • Michelle on December 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

        That is my all-time favorite chocolate bar! Love it.

  2. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on December 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I like all of these items!! I’m definitely not a winter fan and unfortunately I live in Ontario so we usually see a LOT of snow. This year is an exception – things have been unusually mild and rainy, but I have a feeling that snow is definitely on the way in January. Spin is one of my fave indoor workouts too!

  3. Carrie on December 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Living in a 4-seasons climate, I’m a gym girl in the winter. I hate, hate, HATE how cold my thighs get, even with layers, that they actually burn and tingle once I’m inside and warm.

    • Fitnessista on December 21, 2011 at 11:52 am

      4 seasons. not quite sure i know what that feels like 😉 we have 2 here: blazing hot and kinda cold

      • JennP on December 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

        My husband and I are from Minneapolis and Toronto respectively, so now that we live in Tampa we joke about our 2 season climate: uncomfortably hot and comfortably hot.

        • Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on December 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

          I don’t know about where you guys are, but here in Los Angeles it’s expected to be in the 70’s for Christmas.

          • JennP on December 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

            It’s 81 in Tampa right now!

          • Suzy on December 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

            I hate all of you…I live in Omaha, NE and its been in the 30s and snowing! 🙂

  4. RachelG on December 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    There is something so spectacular about running outside in the winter. For the first two minutes I always think i’m crazy and it was a mistake, and then bam…amazeballs! 🙂

  5. SkinnyRunner on December 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    i love a good pair of tight tights, i have nike running ones that keep me warm but dont make me feel like a snowman. i really want to try the wunder unders but havent bit the bullet (or robbed a bank yet).

  6. Cat @Breakfast to Bed on December 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I live in NYC, I sometimes look like the Christmas story kid to go for a run. No one has pushed me over yet, thankfully. I am pretty sure I’d make a killer snow angel, though!

  7. Sara on December 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I have the Nike running hoodie in 2 colors. It is my FAVORITE!

  8. Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe on December 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    “I can’t put my aarrrrrmmmms down!” – love that movie!
    It’s pretty cold here in NH, I recently picked up a heavy pair of running tights and a jacket by Craft. I have a pair of lighted NB running tights that I sometimes wear underneath sweats if it’s cold too. I have a UA beanie with a ponytail hole, Craft running gloves/mittens, heavier running socks… I hate the winter…

  9. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on December 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve been running outside in Utah this year (my first year here) and it’s a lot to get used to! The tights are great until about 20 degrees, then you need another pair or some wool to keep your legs warm. It’s all about layering and remembering to dress like it is warmer than it is, otherwise you overheat too easily.

  10. JennP on December 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Lol. I live in Tampa, Florida (highs of 80 all week) so outdoor exercise is only enjoyed in the winter, and I’m rarely doing it as a means to warm up!!

    I walk/run with my daughter in the jogging stroller pretty much everyday, but I am pretty much a year-round gym rat. The gym is my evening escape when my husband gets home from work 🙂

  11. Eva on December 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    They are the most expensive brand out there, but I love Under Armour! <3 Did my first morning run this morning in Tucson ever since it got Arizona cold. Feels good after, but when you're starting, you kinda question your own sanity. haha.

  12. Liz @ Southern Charm on December 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I’m training for a half marathon, so I try to run outside every time. In New Orleans, you never know what the weather will be like, so I figured doing this will have me prepared for the race!!

    But running is the only activity I do outside, weight lifting and classes are inside … I’m all about steaming up a room! haha.

  13. Lizzie on December 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Woman, you would DIE in Chicago! 🙂

    “Snowmaggedon” happened last Feb:

    • Lauren R. on December 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      I know, as I was reading I was thinking, “How can anybody ever feel like a snowball in Tucson?” It’s been warm in Chi-City so far, but come January/February… we are screwed.

      • Fitnessista on December 21, 2011 at 7:17 pm

        hahaha i would die

  14. Ali on December 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Here in Canada, there are for sure places that you cannot go outside in the winter to work out, unless you are down with breaking your neck slipping on ice! But I love your suggestions, and they work well here in Vancouver where it does not get to cold! I love work out vids inside in the winter, p90x is a particular favourite!

  15. Michelle on December 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    During the winter in Oregon I’m definitely a gym girl as well. On the way over to the gym I’m usually wearing a Northface with a Sweatshirt under or a Lululemon scuba sweater with a puffy vest, crops (I just CAN’T wear pants when running–I have no idea why), ear warmers and gloves. I always feel like a penguin.

    In Arizona in the winter I’m in a t-shirt and shorts (or capris) when it is 19 degrees in the early morning I’m all over the ear warmer headband. I hate that feeling when your body is hot, your ears are cold and you get that awful ear ache/ head ache from it.

  16. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Love all of these workout clothing suggestions! Unfortunately in PA January and February are pretty exercise indoors only months. Unless you want to be dodging ice and three feet of snow on the ground!

  17. Laura @ She Eats Well on December 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I believe in chocolate at every meal. Amen.

    I just bought a great LuLu running headband that is lined with furry lovliness and goes over my ears. It’s perfect for keepin’ warm during morning runs! Highly recommend.

  18. Steffany on December 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I just bought a bunch of winter running gear so that way this year I didn’t have to quit my habit when it got cold & snowy, haha. We live near Buffalo, NY (which makes everyone instantly think SNOW, and they’d be right, it’s cold & snowy all winter haha) so I picked up some running tights, a Under Armour turtleneck, and a UA zipup fleece lined hoodie. I really need to get a headband ear warmer thingy though. I like doing Insanity or Zumba to warm me up in the cold wintertime !! (:

  19. kaila @ healthyhelper on December 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    DO NOT complain that Tucson is cold!! LOL! I live in Buffalo, NY where it is FREEEEEZING and I hate the cold weather! I would take Tucson’s weather any day! I love AZ….my aunt lives there and I seriously cannot get enough of the heat when I go to visit!

    • Amanda on December 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      I’m surprised we haven’t been snowed in yet ( I live in Bflo. too).

    • Steffany on December 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      I hate the winter here too !! Nice to see more Buffalonians, haha. Though technically I am in Niagara Falls now. Wow, three of us right in a row haha.

  20. Amanda on December 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Lol, come party with us in Buffalo, NY in January….. we have weeks where the highest temp is 10 degrees. It blows.

    • Steffany on December 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      I can second this, it totally does blow. BOO to WNY winters.

  21. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on December 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Ohh I love that chocolate bar!! I’m the same way and hate deciding between chocolate and sea salt so that bar is a win win! I rarely work out outside but I might start just so I have a reason to purchase some of these cute things!!

  22. Dani @ RunFitMama on December 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I’m with you. I have a love/hate relationship with the winter but I actually love running in the snow.

  23. Julie on December 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for this! I never run & decided to today outside! I also live in Southern California, but anytime before 7AM is too cold!

  24. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups on December 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I’m lucky that Orlando never really gets overly cold. Today I was wearing running shorts and a t-shirt outside. When it does get a little more crisp out, I bought a new Lululemon running jacket. I love the thumb holes!

  25. Brooke @ sweats & sweets on December 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Yes its quite toasty here in Savannah, I ran in my Nike Tempo shorts and a tank last night. This morning it was my capri’s. I’ve asked Santa for a pair of Nike running tights so we shall see if they arrive in a pretty package!

  26. Lena @Fit on the Rocks on December 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I typically workout outdoors only on the weekends now because it’s super dark and freeezing by the time i get off of work. The weekends are perfect for running though, except when it’s like 12 degrees and I have to wear a zillion layers to prevent myself from turning into a snowman lol

  27. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on December 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I work out, outdoors, 365 days a year (except rest days). I would rather boil in Phoenix summers or freeze in Chicago windchill winters for 15 minutes than spend an hour on a treadmill. Rain is worst of all…worse than heat or cold, and if it’s raining I usually opt for yoga inside.

    That said, summer is easy to dress for. Winter…hard. I have piece-mealed outfits together spanning 10 yrs of clothes and I look like SUCH a hodgepodge. Lol. So I love your rec’s. And that ear warmer…love it. Just lost my Old Navy one from 8 yrs ago…need to replace it and will look into ordering that NB one you showed.. Thanks!

  28. Brittany @Little b's healthy habits on December 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Those layering tanks from Target are my FAVORITE! I have a bunch of them and love that they don’t shrink!

  29. Tessa @ Amazing Asset on December 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I literally just bought that type of chocolate and the other day, and I have really been enjoying it! I only run outside in the winter… but in the summer I do all sorts of outdoor workouts- boot camp style mostly!

  30. Brittany on December 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    tehe!!! I just read this on my ipod in Math class. Love how you have dark chocolate in the morning!

  31. LauraJayne on December 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I love Bikram yoga in the winter – it’s the only time I do it!

  32. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on December 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I’m not a big fan of exercising outdoors in the winter – it gets SO cold and snowy here in Ontario! 🙁

    I love a good run on the treadmill to warm me up!

  33. Sophie on December 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Ohh that almond-salty chocolate is the BEST chocolate ever! yummmmmmmmmm

  34. Alexa @ SimpleEats on December 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I love that chocolate bar, too! That brand also makes a great one with dark chocolate and orange rind.

  35. Cat on December 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I actually think it’s even more important in colder weather to have a tech piece as my base layer! If I break a sweat (the goal!), that sweaty cotton under layer is extra awful. For teaching BootCamp outside, I typically just wear a workout type tank, then put a long sleeve tech tank over that, add a hoodie if it’s pretty cold and a medium weight jacket. If it’s extra cold (or I’m just being a baby) I might add a puffy vest too! If I’m just going running on my own, I just skip the hoodie, jacket and vest. Oh, also Sugoi and Hind make some great long-length running tights!

  36. Avery on December 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Um, that chocolove bar is my life. I stumbled upon it once and fell in love. I don’t think i’m the only one because almost every time I try to buy one.. the store is out! When I’m craving that salty almond-ness, nothing else will do! I’ve tried other chocolate bars, but they just aren’t the same!

    Also, love the post on winter wear. As a Minnesota year long runner, this time of year is always a challenge. When it gets SUPER cold, (I’m talking under 20 degrees), I take it to the gym. But I try to layer and get real fresh air whenever i can. Running on a treadmill gets old super fast. I invest in good tights, headbands, all the stuff you name and that can make a huge difference.

  37. Calee on December 22, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I haven’t tried that bar yet but I love that brand’s chilies and cherries chocolate bar. I made chocolate chip cookies with it once AND a flourless chocolate cake with a few of them.

  38. Kelli on December 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I live in Kansas City so we fully experience all 4 seasons. I actually really love it! I’m always ready for the next season after about 3 months. I love workouts outdoors in the winter- I actually think that is the key to getting through & enjoying the winter months. I do set a limit on running in the ice, but some people in my running club drill screws through a pair of running shoes so they are kind of like baseball spikes….that way they can run outside even in the ice!!! That is crazy! 🙂
    I’m going to go join a gym tonight so that I can use the treadmill & pool on those too cold days this winter.
    That chocolate bar looks so yummy.
    I’m a new reader & I have to say that I had no idea that Tucson was so pretty. I enjoy seeing your photos of the mountains. I always pictured it as more of a really brown & parched looking desert city. 🙂

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