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16 best winter activewear to keep you warm through your outdoor workouts

Stay toasty all season long with these workout must-haves.
TODAY Illustration / Athleta / Aerie / Fabletics

Many people prioritize fitness when it comes to making New Year's resolutions, but inadequate activewear can set you up for failure — especially when the winter cold is paralyzing your muscles and tempting you to head back to the couch until spring arrives.

To prep you for long-term success, Shop TODAY talked to Kelly Brabants, certified personal trainer and athleisure founder, about how to gear up for wintry outdoor workouts and how to shop for top-notch activewear for frigid temperatures.

How to layer workout clothes during winter

It's important you have the ability to move freely no matter the temperature, whether you're sprinting around Central Park or casually jogging around the block. "Layering workout clothes should feel minimal and stress-free because there's nothing worse than feeling stuck under multiple layers when you start to warm up and work up a sweat," shared Brabants.

"Bulky layering pieces don't necessarily mean warmer pieces," she added. "Stay away from materials that run cold or that don't wick away sweat, especially when choosing your base layer." Instead, consider finding pieces made with Dri-FIT spandex or other fitted materials that will keep you snug and compressed.

How to choose the right winter workout clothes

As a city girl born and raised in New England, Brabants gravitates toward high-compression, breathable, thicker materials for chillier temperatures. "It's good to make sure that the material will mold to your body and stay put without exposing any skin as a loose-fitting pant or shirt might do.

Additionally, Brabants recommends wearing lightweight tube socks to layer over leggings to keep your ankles and calves warm. "You will almost always see me working out in high [athletic] socks and Nike sneakers in the winter, even for indoor workouts because I love how comfortable it feels. Also, a soft and fitted bright-colored beanie or running hat is a good option for those looking to run/walk outside and stay cozy but noticed with winter's limited daylight."

Lastly, Brabants advised choosing athletic jackets with finger loopholes and zip-ups for extra comfort.

Whether you're a yogi that loves to stretch on the mat or a runner hitting the pavement, here are quality workout pieces to keep you cozy.

Best winter workout clothes

Under Armour Rival Fleece Joggers

These super comfy joggers will become your go-to pair when working on your fitness outdoors. The cotton-blend fleece and ribbed cuffs are designed to keep you warm and focused during your workout. Customers also agree on how comfortable and adjustable these joggers are. "They are not baggy in the hip and leg area while supplying plenty of room in the waist," added one reviewer.

Uniqlo Heattech Stretch Fleece Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Uniqlo's bestselling Heattech collection is a tried-and-true winter workout go-to. This T-shirt features a relaxed silhouette and long sleeves with thumb holes to layer with your outerwear. Plus, with dozens of five-star ratings, customers confirm the fit, warmness and modern design are supreme.

Nike Pro Therma-FIT Long Sleeve Top

The weather won't feel as dramatic when you wear this Nike long-sleeved top. It features multiple pockets (including one at the upper arm) that'll keep your essentials secured, along with a high collar and Therma-fit technology that'll help manage your body's natural heat.

Baleaf Fleece-Lined Winter Leggings

With over 13,000 verified five-star ratings, these leggings are the way to go for the sporty woman. These high-waisted bottoms are great for yoga sessions or if you're taking a rest day at home. Also, a big plus for parents of fur babies, these leggings "don’t attract pet hair," according to one reviewer.

Under Armour ColdGear Authentic Mock

Keep your head in the game with this long-sleeved shirt from Under Armour. The anti-odor technology and moisture-wicking materials will keep you dry while you go out for a walk, plus it makes the perfect base layer underneath your puffer jacket when you need to feel extra warm. "This shirt is the perfect extra layer to keep the chill away," said one verified reviewer.

Fabletics On-The-Go Cold Weather Jogger

Step outside your warm lair into the wild with these ultra-cozy joggers. The bottoms are made with Fabletics' cold weather fabric and designed to keep you comfortable while walking outside. These are also high-waisted and offer side pockets to keep your essentials hidden.

GapFit Breathe Hoodie with Mask

Forgot your face mask at home? This Gap hoodie features a hooded neckline and pull-up mask to keep you dry and safe. The material is breathable and offers great stretch when you need to work on those push-ups. "I love having the turtleneck for cold-weather exercising outside," added a reliable, satisfied customer.

Lands' End High Rise Serious Sweats Fleece Lined Pocket Leggings

Keep the holiday vibes going with these wintery leggings featuring a fun print. The pair features a soft fleece lining and a comfortable elastic waist to maintain flexibility through any activity. Also, they have a handy side pocket to keep your life hands-free and easygoing. A verified buyer assessed the quality of these leggings, saying, "These are toasty warm and comfy. It was in the 20s today and I was comfortable running errands."

Fabletics Polar Fleece Ear Warmer

Don't let the wind attack your performance! This cozy headband is made of soft fleece material to keep your flyaways in place when you are running out in the cold.

Adidas Tiro Winterized Hoodie

Tackle the winter chill with this hoodie lined with a cozy fleece material. The trainer-inspired design is ideal for those who love to get a few rounds of soccer in during brisker weather. It also has side pockets to keep your necessities in place, along with a warm hoodie to cover your head when the temperature unexpectedly drops.

Lands' Ends Insulated Hybrid Fleece Pullover

Whether you live in New York City or Portland, customers agree this will keep you warm while outside, this Lands' End pullover will keep you insulated during chilly weather. The material is water-resistant and features a T200 fleece with puffy panels that will push away the cold breeze.

Aerie Real Warm Long Sleeve Mock Neck T-Shirt

This tee is a great layering basic when you need extra warmth during the winter. The top can be worn comfortably underneath vests and sweatshirts for warmer winter workouts. According to one reviewer, this shirt is "surprisingly warm despite it being a thinner material."

Altitude Tight in Polartec Power Stretch

With nearly a five-star average and over 2,200 verified reviews, these Athleta leggings are perfect for high-intensity workouts in cold climates. The pair offers thermal insulation and a comfortable waistband to keep you motivated. Also, it has a back zip pocket to store your headphones or smartphone.

Aerie Chillside Warmup Base Layer Bodysuit

If you need extra coverage, this Aerie bodysuit will keep the chill away. It offers a flattering, form-fitting silhouette that can be worn as a base layer. "This was way better than I thought. Really cozy and warm," shared one buyer who rated it five stars.

Outdoor Voices FrostKnit 7/8 Legging

These are the perfect leggings for cold weather cardio lovers to go the extra mile. The supportive bottoms from Outdoor Voices offer sweat-wicking materials and reflective details for early morning or evening jogs. "The material is definitely thicker than a normal thick legging and they keep you warm without being too hot," one reviewer confirmed.

The North Face Winter Warm Jacket

This North Face jacket may look like a lightweight rain slicker, but it actually delivers more than just water-repelling features. Its reflective outer allows for enhanced visibility, while its Heatseeker Eco insulation keeps you toasty even when there's a frigid wind outside.

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