Warm Up to Winter Activity

— Written By Kim Reid and last updated by Cindy Nance

If you think walking stops when it gets cold, think again! Here’s what you need to walk smart all winter long whether you’re walking in your neighborhood or around town on errands.

Smart clothes for your body

Dress in layers. Several thin layers are better than one bulky layer. You will warm up as you move. You can shed layers so you don’t sweat too much. Wear a hat. Pick one that is soft and warm, not scratchy. Without a hat, you lose heat off your head and you’ll get cold faster. Wear gloves or mittens to keep your hands warmer.

Smart shoes and stuff for your feet

For both comfort and safety, choices in footwear are really important. Sturdy boots or walking shoes with thick soles and deep treads are important. Make sure that your footwear is the right size  with heavier socks. Wear a pair of thick wool or synthetic socks.

Smart buddies for fun and safety

It’s always nice to have a walking buddy. Family, friends and dogs are all great. Think of a dog as a treadmill with fur – walking is good for their health and yours! Walking with a family member or friend gives you time to bond. Having someone to talk to makes the miles seem shorter in any season. In winter, a buddy also gives you an added measure of safety in case you slip or fall.

Smart accessories for everyone

Visibility is a concern for winter walkers. Drivers may have a hard time seeing you due to shorter days. You and your pet can walk safely with LED lights and/or reflective clothing. For under $15, you can buy different types of LED lights and reflective vests, hats, gloves and belts. You can even get dog leashes and collars. On days with lots of glare, walkers need sunglasses.

Walking indoors

Use your resources – remember that the you can walk for free without a membership at the Health & Wellness Center (Monday through Friday from (12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.). You can also buy a walking indoors DVD.

Just because the weather is a little chilly don’t let that put a freeze on your activity goals. Grab those shoes and get moving today!

Source: Eat Smart, Move More NC

For more information, contact Kim Reid, Extension Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at (910) 592-7161.