Walk Talk Series
Day 52 – Cold Weather Walking
“Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We’ll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, Whether we like it or not”
- 40-75 minute walk in the fat-burning zone at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate
- Warm up with 5 minutes at a very easy pace
- Find a safe spot with a wall or pole to do a 5 minute easy stretching routine
- Now resume your walk at a comfortable pace
- End with 5 minutes of gentle stretching
Advanced walkers: Threshold Walk
Exercise: Abdominal Exercises
Keep Walking in the Cold
Hibernating is for bears, not walkers. Here are our best tips to keep walking no matter what the weather. First we’ll select a good route, then discuss how to dress for the weather, then on to warm rewards
- Start your walk into the wind: so you will finish with it at your back.
- Sheltered routes: Select routes sheltered from the wind where possible.
- Preventing slips: Select routes that are cleared of snow or ice or do not have standing puddles or mud slicks.
- Be aware of cars: Use caution when walking on roads, cars may have more difficulty in seeing you in rain or snow and maneuvering around you.
- Use a running track: Check the local tracks to see if they may be a good outdoor or indoor alternative to the sidewalks or streets in poor weather.
- Seek shelter: Plan for refuges along the way – is there a store, park restroom, or other place you can duck into to warm up during your walk if needed?
- Walk the mall: Consider mall walking as a cold-weather alternative.
- Treadmill: Consider treadmill walking as an alternative.
Prevent Slipping and Sliding
Walking poles: Give yourself extra stability and reduce the chances of slipping by using walking poles. Using a pair of fitness walking poles or trekking poles will also help you burn more calories and warm up faster.
Traction: Don’t wear slick soled shoes if there will be wet or snowy pavement. For icy conditions, Stabilicers, YakTrax or Ice Walker/Jogger slip-on cleats.
Dressing in Layers
Next to the skin: Your base layer should wick sweat away from your body to keep your skin dry. Cotton should not be used – save your t-shirts for other purposes. Good long underwear pieces are appropriate made from fabrics such as Thermion, polypropylene, Thermax, Thinsulate, and silk.
Insulating layer: This layer will keep you warm and can be shed once you warm up. Wool, fleece, pile, down in a jacket, shirt or vest.
Outer layer: To protect you from the elements, a windproof and water resistant jacket. It should be worn loosely.
Pants: If the weather is frigid, long underwear bottoms or tights underneath another pair of pants will keep you warm. Cotton and denim should be avoided. Running pants or running tights made of synthetics that wick moisture will keep you more comfortable in rain and snow.
A Change of Clothes: If your walking route is away from home, bring along a set of warm and dry clothes to slip into immediately after walking to keep from getting chilled by wet walking clothes.
- Hat: A hat is essential to keeping your body heat from escaping, as well as shedding rain. A polar fleece hat with ear covering is my ideal winter headgear.
- Ear band: For those whose ears get cold, ear bands are the answer.
- Gloves or mittens: Mittens will keep your hands the warmest as the fingers work together to build up warmth. Look for windproof mittens.
- Water bottle: You need water in winter as much as in summer, and drinking fountains may be turned off. Bring water along to stay hydrated. Scarf, neck gaiter,
- Ski Mask: Having a scarf or similar item along to wrap around your neck when the wind turns brutal can save your walking comfort.
- Sunscreen and lip protector: The earth is closer to the sun in December – February, protect your skin. Lips and face can chap without protection.
- Umbrella: These are known to prevent rain when carried along on your walk. Buy a very lightweight, collapsible umbrella to carry along.
Waterproof shoes or boots: If your walking is wet or snowy, invest in a pair of waterproof walking or hiking shoes. Many companies including Nike and New Balance have lightweight styles to keep you dry. Coating shoes with a water repellent fabric treatments is another option.
Traction: Don’t wear slick soled shoes if there will be wet or snowy pavement. For icy conditions, Stabilicers, YakTrax or Ice Walker slip-on cleats.
Socks: Switch to heavier socks or wear two pairs for more insulation. Test your socks with your chosen shoes to make sure there is still room for your toes to wiggle.
A long, warm bath will take away the chill and relax your exercised muscles. Treat yourself to scented bubble bath or bath salts or candles, and enjoy a good book. Also reward yourself with a cup of Tea or sugar-free coco.