Best Gear for Fall Fitness

by Louise | September 16th, 2013 | Exercise Wear

runJust last week I came back feeling drenched after a long run in just a sports bra and shorts on a humid day, but yesterday I was borderline shivering in my t-shirt and shorts as I waited for my running buddies outside the fitness center. Is it that time already in New England? Has summer closed its door and welcomed fall into our lives?  In the summer, choosing running clothes is fairly straightforward. The only thoughts you have to balance are how much heat you can handle versus how much skin you are willing to bare. Autumn, on the other hand, is that awkward transition time. Do I want to wear a short sleeve, or a long sleeve, shorts, or leggings?

For the torso, a highly recommended item for fall fitness is a long-sleeve half-zip. Most shirts of this type are made of a polyester and spandex combination, which makes them flexible and fairly breathable. There are fleece versions, but those can probably be left in the closet until winter. The beauty of the half-zip is the control you have of your temperature. Too cold? Zip it to the top. Too warm? Open it up and let the air seep in. Try on the shirt before buying it; it is ideal when the sleeves are reasonably snug, but loose enough to bunch up to the elbow if it starts to get warm.

For legs, Capri tights are a great solution for in-between weather. You’re unlikely to get too hot just because you chose Capri tights over shorts, and you can’t be judged for bringing out pants “too soon.” I’m one to stick it out in shorts for as long as possible. Also, as long as my core is warm, I tend not to notice how my legs feel; I usually wait until temperatures drop near freezing before I start to consider pants. However, it’s all personal preference. If you want to feel warm and toasty on a run, by all means, layer up!

During the fall months, dangerously cold weather is not usually a concern (though you can never be too sure in New England). There isn’t much that should keep runners indoors, though those gusty days can put a serious damper on a hard workout. However, one of the overlooked precautions for fall runners is sun protection. It’s true that the UV index is generally lower in the fall, but applying sunscreen to exposed areas on a crisp and sunny autumn day will still help reduce a runner’s risk of skin cancer. Luckily, you only have to worry about that lingering sticky sun-block feeling for as long as it takes you to clean up after your run! On a very sunny day, you may also want to grab a pair of shades to keep from squinting. Stay relaxed and enjoy the good running weather!



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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.