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January 22, 2020

When faced with particularly frightful winter weather the last thing you want to do is bundle up and brave the fearsome outdoors. Unfortunately, you don’t always get the option to hunker down inside with a cup of tea and a cheery holiday movie. When duty calls and you need to make the frigid commute to work, it’s best to prepare yourself for the winter weather as much as possible. These cold weather tips for your commute will help you stay warm and comfortable regardless of how far your commute is or how low the temperature drops.

Bundle up

It may go without saying, but one of the best cold weather tips for your commute is to bundle up as much as possible. Outfitting yourself in thermal clothing will help your body retain a higher internal temperature that will keep you warm and toasty throughout your entire commute. Knit sweaters, thermal underwear, or fleece-lined leggings will provide you with the necessary protection against even the most brutal winter weather. Thermal outerwear is equally as important as your indoor clothing, so try to choose outerwear that offers significant protection against the elements. Coats insulated with down feathers or lined with fleece are a good option, and they will keep you warm regardless of the outdoor temperature.

Dress in layers

In addition to choosing thermal clothing, you should also try to dress in layers. This is particularly important for people who have to walk or bike a significant distance during their commute. You may feel very cold as you begin your commute, but once you’re in the home stretch, you may find yourself starting to sweat. Dressing in layers will give you more flexibility to adapt your outfit to your body’s changing temperate during the course of your commute. It will also allow you to adapt your outfit to the changing weather. Choose cardigans, sweatshirts, or light jackets that you can easily remove and store during your commute to ensure you always stay at a comfortable temperature.

Plan ahead

Winter weather can be extremely unpredictable, and it can often change at the drop of a hat. You may leave your house prepared for a crisp, clear day only to encounter a horrendous hailstorm or blistering blizzard. The best way to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature, and steel yourself against her wicked whims, is to check the weather forecast consistently. Consulting a reliable weather forecast or doppler radar will enable you to plan your outfits accordingly, so you’ll never get caught off guard by a sudden snowstorm. Check the weather forecast when planning your outfit and once again right before you step outside. This will help you plan your outfit and your outerwear accordingly, and it will also give you one final opportunity to grab a scarf or umbrella if necessary.

Allow extra time for the commute

Winter weather seems to put everyone in a bit of a daze. Between winter doldrums and snow covered streets, everything seems to move just a bit slower. As such, it’s important that you allow a little extra time for your commute. Setting your alarm just a few minutes earlier will help you stay on pace with your morning routine and sidestep any potential obstacles in your commute. Public transportation is particularly susceptible to poor weather conditions, so make sure to regularly check the train or bus schedule. Watch out for any alerts to ensure your commute stays right on track as well.

Choose waterproof clothing

Winter wouldn’t feel complete without a healthy dose of snow and sleet. While this weather may produce a stunning winter wonderland, it can also significantly impact your comfort during your daily commute. When planning your outfit for the day, try to choose waterproof or water-resistant items. Unlike some fabrics, such as cotton or linen that absorb water easily and dry slowly, water-resistant fabrics wick away moisture and maintain their integrity when exposed to a high amount of water. Choose high-quality clothing brands that specialize in outdoor apparel, such as Arc’Teryx clothing, to ensure your clothing can handle any winter weather and will keep you warm and dry.

Keep moving

The best way to avoid the effects of winter weather during your commute is to keep moving. As you move, your body will generate more heat, which provides you with more energy to complete the commute. While the main portion of your body may start to feel a bit warmer during the commute, your extremities will not always warm up as quickly. Finger, toes, hands, and feet will warm up slowly, and they’re typically more susceptible to frostbite than other parts of your body. As you progress through your commute, make sure to keep your fingers and toes moving. This will stimulate circulation throughout your body and help stave off the possibility of frostbite.

Stay hydrated

When faced with a particularly frigid commute, the last thing you want is a cold drink of water. Staying hydrated, however, is very important and will help you combat frostbite and fatigue. In addition to being very cold, winter weather is also typically quite dry. In these weather conditions, sweat evaporates more quickly and thirst diminishes. This can cause us to miss the telltale signs of dehydration until it’s too late. Pack ample water for your commute to ensure that you meet your daily recommended fluid intake and to reduce the risk of dehydration. If a cold glass of water is the furthest thing from your mind during the winter, you can substitute it for a thermos of warm lemon water, or you can supplement your diet with water rich foods such as zucchini or oranges.

Keep transportation in working order

Transportation is just as susceptible to winter weather as your body. You should ensure your transportation works properly prior to embarking on your daily commute. If you drive to work, change your car’s oil regularly and always keep at least half a tank of gas in the car. If you bike, store your bike in a dry place, as this will help combat rust and other water damage. If you rely on public transportation, stay up to date with all alerts and delays that may impact your commute. And finally, if you rely on nothing more than your own two feet for your daily commute, outfit yourself in warm, water-resistant clothing to ensure you always stay warm and dry.

Cold Weather Tips for Your Commute


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