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Never too early to shop for winter workout clothes

One of the nice things about being on a fitness catalog's mailing list is that once you order from one you're guaranteed to get on the mailing list of many more. Maybe it's a girl thing, but I love when the new catalogs come out.

Road Runner Sports, Activa, National Running Store, Title Nine and a host of others are now featuring fall running wear. And unless you plan on letting fewer daylight hours, increased moisture or colder temperatures keep you on the couch for the next few months, it's a good time to think about broadening your winter workout attire.

Inclement weather can drain the motivation right out of you, but my glass half-full perspective prefers to see it as the perfect opportunity to buy new clothes without eliciting raised brows or how-much-did-that-cost-looks from my husband.

Besides, in the right gear you won't care what the weather is like. Nothing will stop you from getting up and getting out for your run or walk.

You first have to be willing to break off that long-standing relationship with those baggy blue sweat pants and cotton T-shirts, favoring instead one of the newer fabrics designed to protect against wind, rain, and even colder temperatures.

Fabric blends such as Lycra, Cool Max, or Gore-Tex can shield you from the wind and rain as well as keep you sog- and chill-free.

Select base layer clothing (the clothing next to your skin) that is made from fabric designed to wick perspiration away from your skin and keep you dry (such as Cool-Max). Beyond the base layer you'll want a wicking shirt that is also designed to insulate and provide greater warmth.

Toward that end, Under Armour makes some great super-light compression tops designed to wear alone or under a jacket for extra warmth.

And finally, depending on where you live, you might want a lightweight jacket that is wind or rain resistant, or a jacket that is water resistant as well as insulated.

Your outer layer — jacket or shirt — should provide you with some reflective features, making you more visible to drivers. If your jacket or top does not reflect light you can always wear a running vest that does.

Finally, don't forget your hat and gloves. The majority of your body heat escapes through the head and your fingers will be the first thing to get cold when you're out in colder temperatures.

Dressed comfortably you'll find the thought of facing inclement weather less intimidating. And once you're out there and moving, the weather becomes less noticeable and less of an obstacle than you imagined.

You can always visit your local sporting goods store, but if you're not already on the mailing list for some of these companies; give them a call and request a catalog: Road Runner Sports (800-743-3206, www.roadrunnersports.com); National Running Center (800-541-1773, www.nationalrunningcenter.com); Activa Sports (888-566-7792, activasports.com); or Title Nine Sports (800-342-4448, www.title9sports.com)


Wellness specialist Eugenie Jones writes for The Sun in Bremerton, Wash., and may be reached by e-mail at eugeniek@comcast.net.) Dis. by Scripps Howard News Service