Winter Weather Walking
Layer, Layer, Layer
Layering is essential when doing any workout during the winter months. It is a good rule of thumb to dress for a temperature about 20 degrees higher than it actually is. So, if you are walking on a day that is 40 degrees or more, you probably won’t need to layer. However, if you are walking in temperatures below 40 degrees be prepared to layer for warmth.
When you are layering it is better to go with several thin layers over the one or two thick, bulky layers. It is important to choose items that are easily removed or put back on. Depending on the walking you are doing you may heat up or cool down several times. Be sure to choose your first layer of clothing by its wicking attributes. You want that first layer to move any moisture from sweat away from your body so that you do not get chilled. Choose insulating items for a second, warming layer when it is very cold. The outer layer should be wind resistant and waterproof. The great thing about layering is once you have warmed up you can remove articles to cool you down. If you should happen to get cold again, easy fix, put it back on.
Everyone knows some of the most important pieces of your wardrobe is your accessories, this is true for work out gear as well. Hats, gloves or mittens, and cowl can make it a much nicer walk. These accessories will keep your extremities nice and warm so you can concentrate on the positive effects of your walk. Make sure you don’t forget your sun protection as well. Even though the temperature has dropped the sun’s rays are even more powerful. Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, at least 15 SPF. Also wear sunglasses, especially if there is snow covering everything. Snow glare can make your walk uncomfortable. Also the sun beating directly down on you, there are no leaves to shield the bright light.
Shoes should not be overlooked. It is important to wear a good shoe especially in the winter. Slippery conditions can exist even if there is no snow. Ice can be your worst nightmare if you are not prepared. Wear a waterproof show with a good tread. If you are walking in an area where there is much snow or it is cold enough to freeze, invest in a slip over cleats. These can be bought to slide over your shoe and be removed when not needed.
Remember your reflective gear as well. The daylight hours are shorter in the winter months, often changing conditions that walkers normally walk. If you are a morning or evening walker you know what I mean. The twilight hours can be dangerous if motorists can’t see you. Make sure to wear a reflective vest or jacket, or use reflective tape on your backpack or other areas of your workout gear. Be prepared and never assume a motorist sees you, always walk on the offensive and be proactive.
Walking in the cooler, even cold weather can be invigorating. Many people find that it is more meditative to walk in the winter listening to the winter sounds around them. Let me know in the forum what kind of tips you use to make your winter walking a worthwhile endeavor.
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