Like so many trends, hot girl walks have been misunderstood a time or two. Although the hashtag #hotgirlwalk has over 511 million views on TikTok, they aren’t anything particularly out of the ordinary—the term is merely a cheeky name for going outside and enjoying a normal-paced walk.
And don’t misunderstand: They’re not just for girls. Anyone can benefit from going on a walk, whether it’s around the block or four miles long (as “hot girl walk” creator Mia Lind suggests). “Walking is one of the most consistently underrated forms of exercise out there,” certified personal trainer Rachel Trotta previously told Well+Good. “Contrary to popular understanding, you don’t have to completely beat yourself up to get in a good workout.”
Another hot girl walk myth? That they need to be hot.
Now that fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner, you might feel hesitant to keep walking outdoors. But remember: One of the key elements of a hot girl walk is going outside, unplugging from screens, and taking a moment to enjoy your surroundings and soak up some vitamin D—all of which can be even more beneficial during the cooler months of the year.
“We now know that spending time in natural light helps decrease the risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder and elevates your essential vitamin D levels during the shorter days of the year, which leads to lower blood pressure and stronger bones,” says personal trainer Jen Widerstrom, who is a fitness expert for Pikmin Bloom, an app that makes walking more fun.
Working out in the cold can also give you a bonus cardio boost: It makes your heart stronger by forcing it to work harder to pump blood to your muscles.
“And your endorphins rise, which means a happy day ahead,” says Brianna Joye, fitness expert and founder of the app BOLD by Brianna Joye Fitness. “I actually started a walk club in NYC called City Girls Who Walk and the majority of the girls tell me that they love the walks specifically in the winters because it helps wake them up.”
Suffice to say, sticking to your hot girl walk routine (or kickstarting one) in the months to come is nothing short of a great idea—just be sure to layer up. “I always make sure I’m dressed properly, so that means thick socks, leggings with fleece on the inside, a turtle neck sweater, and my big comfy coat,” Joye shares. Need some recos? Find some of our favorite cold-weather gear, below.
Bundle up from head to toe
Craving that ‘90s aesthetic? The Skims Slouch Sock features the scrunched silhouette and is made of a thick cotton, polyester, and spandex blend that’s warm but breathable. Best of all, they’re sold in nine colors, so you can easily switch up your look.
Originally $50, on sale for $35
These stretchy high-rise leggings are made of the brand’s signature Warm Up fabric, which is smooth on the outside and lined with soft, cozy brushed fleece on the inside. They’re sold in black and heather gray. Oh, and did we mention that they have pockets?!
From $28 to $79, depending on color choice
While thick sweaters are cozy as can be, when you’re walking a few miles, you may find that they weigh you down. That’s why we (and hundreds of other shoppers) love the Athleta Foresthill Ascent Seamless Turtleneck, which is sold in seven colors. It’s lightweight and form-fitting, so it can easily be layered under other garments, but it’s made of merino wool, so it adds an impressive layer of warmth to your overall outfit.
The same goes for coats—the heavier the coat, the more it can weigh you down on your walk. Thankfully, ultra-lightweight, super-warm options exist. Case in point: The Free People Pippa Packable Puffer Jacket. This best-selling jacket folds down into a small pouch but when shaken out, it fluffs up and offers notable warmth. It features a comfortable and stylish high-low dolphin hem and is sold in 17 colors, including 2022’s color of choice: a vibrant red-orange.