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Whether you commute by walking, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll every now and then, ForwardMotion’s winter walking tips will help fend off the frostbite and make the most of your journey.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to not overheat. It may seem strange to think that you can overheat in the winter, but sweating is one of the easiest ways to get cold when out walking. Wearing breathable base layers are essential as these will wick away sweat, meaning they are your best bet for staying toasty enough to brave the elements.
Even professionals rely on mittens to keep their hands warm. The heat from all of your fingers being bunched together will keep them warmer than your usual pair of gloves. If you will be using your hands a lot on your walk, you might want to wear a pair of gloves beneath the mittens to keep the elements away when you take them off.
Dusk creeps up on us a lot quicker in winter, so make sure you are prepared for when the sun goes down. People naturally gravitate towards dark clothing in the winter, but it’s the worst thing you can choose for walking. Cars, bikes and other pedestrians will not be able to see you in dark-coloured clothing, and if the worst does happen rescue teams won’t be able to see you. Opt for a brightly coloured jacket or even a rucksack cover if you don’t fancy a new wardrobe choice. You can even purchase reflective stickers and accessories fairly cheaply online.
Even if you’re just popping to the shops or walking the dog, the right shoe will change your experience. You need to be looking for something with a good grip as this prevents things like slipping on ice or even muddy terrains. Waterproof shoes are also a must for those times that the heavens open mid-walk. If you cannot afford a pair of speciality boots, you can use your normal running trainers and buy a pair of cold weather insoles, these are usually made from gore-tex, felt or wool and they will keep your feet warmer for the journey. If you’re particularly concerned about slipping when walking, removable foot grippers with studs are also available online and can attach to almost any winter shoe.
So obvious that we rarely do it! We know that British weather can be temperamental so check the forecast and look out for weather warnings that you might need to account for before you set off. The last thing you want is to be stuck in terrible conditions in the midst of a great walk. Most smartphones will have a weather app but there are some apps and websites available that identify the ideal conditions for walkers and cyclists.
You will be far more motivated to go out for a winter walk or jog if you make a prior arrangement with a friend or family member. It is also a lot more pleasurable to exercise in the winter if you have someone to chat to and pass the time. Don’t forget to make sure you adhere to the government’s ruling surrounding tiers, support bubbles and social distancing when you head out.
Want more advice on walking and how to get around more sustainably this winter? Click here to see how ForwardMotion can help you.