7:38 AM 13th November 2023
Cold Weather Putting You Off Your Daily Walk?
With the winter preventing many people from going for regular walks, experts have put together some tips to help you feel more at ease about walking during the colder months.
Image by Eddie K from Pixabay
Ben Conroy, Author and walking enthusiast at GO Outdoors, commented:
“There are numerous benefits to walking, such as improving cardiovascular health or reducing stress. Studies have found that walking for just 20 minutes a day can help reduce feelings of anxiety, improve sleep and cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia.¹”
“Although people are often less inclined to go walking during the winter months, we strongly recommend that you don’t hibernate through winter. There’s plenty to discover in the outdoors and a crisp winter's day is often a fantastic time to see it, so we’ve compiled a list of walking tips, specifically for winter.”
Tips for walking in the winter:
Image by Martin dalsgaard from Pixabay
1. Layer Up
If the cold is what's stopping you, the correct use of the clothing layering system will help you maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your walk. Add layers when you’re cold, and remove them when you’re too hot. If you’re already familiar with the layering system, be sure to add gloves and a hat to your kit for winter. If you aren’t familiar with the layering system, we have a Layering System Guide.
2. Wear the appropriate kit
If you want to do some serious walking through winter, it’s worth doing some research on the kit you purchase. All outdoor gear is not made for every task, most is great for certain things, but you really don’t want to take a gamble through winter. We recommend choosing the right gear for the area you are walking in and making sure to select the appropriate pair of shoes and the right clothing for the conditions. The experts in your local GO Outdoors will be able to advise you on a kit that is right for your chosen activity.
3. Stay visible
Image by Steven Weirather from Pixabay
As daylight hours are shorter in winter, it’s important to make sure you're wearing bright or reflective clothing so as to increase your visibility. This is especially important if you are walking in low visibility conditions, like fog, or at night.
4. Be aware of where you are walking
With the winter months comes colder weather. Where possible, try and walk in well-cleared and well-lit areas and be cautious of any icy or snowy paths. If where you are walking is icy or snowy, walk slower and take smaller steps to prevent slipping.
5. Carry essential items
If you are walking a longer distance or going on a hike, make sure to take any ice cleats or traction devices where necessary. Similarly, always carry a fully charged phone and a portable charger in case you need to get hold of someone. When walking in the dark, make sure to take a torch so that you can light your path. If you are planning on going on a long walk or hike, make sure you are prepared for the winter conditions.
6. Walk with a friend
One of the best ways to keep safe is to not go alone, it’s always more motivating to walk with somebody else and if there are any accidents, there’s another person to call for rescue. Walking is very much a social activity and is always best enjoyed in pairs or groups. It’s the perfect way to open up about what’s on your mind in support of your mental wellbeing.
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