There’s no denying it anymore-the cold weather is officially here. You’ve probably packed up your shorts and tanks and stocked your closet with thermals and jackets. But some of your warm-weather accessories are still good in the winter. So before you say goodbye to all your summer stuff, check out this list of gear you should keep around this season. It won’t exactly transport you back to the days of running on the beach, but at least it’s a few less things you have to put into storage, right?
It’s a common mistake to think that you only need sunscreen when you’re out in the sizzling summer sunshine. But the sun’s rays are strong enough to cause damage year-round; in fact, snow reflects the UV light and can leave you with a sunburn that rivals the effects of a day at the beach. Practice safe sun everyday by applying a broad- spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin before heading outside. And don’t forget to swipe on a lip balm with SPF to keep your lips protected from both the sun and the cold.
Once you’ve got your face covered with sunscreen, it’s time to protect those peepers. Not only is the skin around your eyes extra-delicate and vulnerable to the sun, the glare from snow and ice can make it almost impossible to see. To keep yourself from running off the road, slip on your favorite sunnies along with your sneakers. If your everyday pair doesn’t feel comfortable or stay put, try a pair specially made for runners for a more custom fit. Or reach for a wide-brimmed hat to shield your eyes and keep your head warm, too.
In the dog days of summer, you probably feel like you need to chug a gallon of water for every mile you run. But even though you may not feel the heat in the cold weather, it’s just as crucial to hit the H2O to run at your peak performance. Make sure you sip throughout the day to stay hydrated, and be sure to down a glass before and after your workout (and during anything particularly strenuous).
When the weather is frightful it can be tempting to bundle up before braving a winter run, but all of those extra layers can leave you soaked with cold sweat halfway through. To stay warm and dry, choose clothes for your base layer that have the same moisture-wicking material you sport in summer. This will prevent sweat from getting trapped under the rest of your layers and keep you from feeling the chill.
Though it’s not strictly for summer, if you practice foam rolling, you may find yourself using the tool most often in the warm weather. That’s because nicer temps often equal longer, more intense workouts; that leads to sore muscles and lots of foam rolling. But since the cold weather can make your muscles tight and achy even on shorter runs, the stretching technique is still very beneficial and can help keep your flexibility and mobility in check year-round. Plus, since it can really hurt when you first try it, if you roll on a regular basis you won’t have to endure the pain from starting again in the warmer weather.