Outdoor with your durable shoes for walking can help change the landscape and terrain, which will also help you avoid feeling bored. And since there is no equipment, you don’t need to spend too much, and you can just walk to work anytime, anywhere. The fact is that cold winters can make walking uncomfortable. But don’t worry because there are always ways to avoid these. In this article, I will give you several cold weather and winter walking tips.
Table of Contents
- 6 Safety Tips for Winter Walking
- Winter Walking Tips For Seniors
- What To Wear When Walking In Cold Weather
- Frequently Asked Questions
6 Safety Tips for Winter Walking
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t go out to exercise. Nevertheless, walking or running in the cold weather can be full of risk. The following tips will help you stay safe when running or walking in cold weather:
Don’t expect to create a new personal record
It is completely normal if your performance drops during cold weather, typically when the temperature starts to decrease under 40 degrees. Peripheral blood vessels will compress, you will feel that your joints tend to be stiffer, and your muscles are also more difficult to warm up. These decreases can be easily remedied with a thorough warm-up and appropriate clothing.
Make sure you warm up thoroughly
One of the first and most important things to do before cold weather walking is warming up. Make sure you do it appropriately to prevent your muscles from stress and avoid joint injuries. Moving in place or jumping rope indoors for around five minutes is considered a great warmup exercise.
Wear lots of layers
You need to prepare for your walking in cold weather. Consider dressing in layers so that you can take off clothing when you feel a bit hot or put it on when it gets colder. Below are some tips for what to wear while walking in the cold weather, from the inside out:
Make sure that the waistband of your panty doesn’t dig into the hips, as you need to stay as comfortable as possible. But remember that you’ll have to move a lot, so layer 1 should be something like sportswear or any kind of clothing that snugly fits.
It is ideal for wearing a layer of synthetic clothing. This type of material can prevent sweat, providing enough ventilation to keep your skin dry. Besides, avoid clothing with thick internal seams because it can irritate your skin. Instead, opt for a seamless dress.
If the weather is too cold, you can wear a layer of fleece for extra insulation and cover it with a watertight jacket. When the temperature drops below freezing, you can cover your mouth with a scarf. This way, you can warm the air you are breathing and feel warmer.
Cover your hands and feet
Exercising in cold weather can be risky; typically, your extremities can easily get frostbite. So, make sure you cover them carefully. Not only your hands and feet but your head and face also need to be covered.
Cold temperatures and rainfall can cause walkways and sidewalks to freeze. Luckily, there are several ways you can do to prevent yourself from slipping or falling when walking on such slippery roads.
Firstly, check the sole of your shoes. If the tread patterns are worn down, your shoes will not provide you with enough grip and traction.
Next, have a plan. You should anticipate what will happen if you fall on the street. Will anyone be there to help you? Make sure you plant the details of safer alternatives.
And finally, try to walk at your normal pace when it’s freezing. By doing this, you can increase your sense of stability.
Prepare for possible bad situations
When you are walking or running in cold conditions for a long time, you run the risk of heat fatigue. That is when someone works out in cold conditions, and body heat is lost to the environment. According to the American Council on Sports Medicine, this suppresses the shivering response that is your body’s defense against the cold and can put you at higher risk of hypothermia.
Discover our latest guide about insulated work boots for women.
Winter Walking Tips For Seniors
Although ice can be dangerous for both young and healthy people, it can be especially dangerous for the elderly. When it is not possible to stay indoors and wait for bad weather, caregivers can take several steps to help avoid depression and falls for their beloved older adults. Here are the top eight winter walking tips for seniors to stay safe and active during cold weather.
Always be alert
One of the first and most important steps is to recognize any possible dangerous spots on the road. It is ideal for encouraging old adults to watch their footsteps while looking out for hidden ice patches and any other greasy terrain. Only walk on designated roads and use handrails when available for extra protection.
Walk slowly and stably
Even young people find it hard to walk in snowy and cold weather. This is even more exact for seniors. Therefore, make sure the elderly have extra time to go to their destination. Don’t push them to walk quickly to avoid slipping or falling due to icy or snowy surfaces.
Walk this way
If possible, help your old adults to curl their toes under for an extra grip. In addition, notify them to take small steps. There is nothing to rush. Always keep in mind that arms are a good way to keep you stable. Advise your seniors to keep their hands out of their pockets and should not hold any kind of heavy loads such as shopping bags or so. You can also offer your arms while walking by your old adult’s side for extra security.
Wear the right footwear
Even if your old adults don’t walk outside in winter regularly, it is still important to get them the right shoes. Ideally, buy them a high quality walking shoes for the elderly with an excellent outsole design. In other words, the outsole should have strong tread patterns for added traction. On the other hand, you should not opt for models with smooth soles because they increase the possibility of slipping and falling.
Be active about eliminating snow
If not removed appropriately, snow can become a slippery surface. So, you can completely plan to remove snow in the area where your senior will walk. This way, you can make sure that the road is free of ice and snow. The risk of slipping is also significantly decreased.
Slippings and fallings related to snow can also occur indoors when the snow melts at the entrance. In this case, you can use indoor and outdoor rugs to shake off all the snow before walking in that area. Don’t forget to remind your seniors to get into the habit of leaving shoes at the door after wearing house shoes.
Practice the right fall form
Even with your best efforts, falling can still be inevitable. This is even true for old adults as their ability to balance tends to decrease when they age. In such cases, it’s best to learn how to fall in the right way. By doing this, you can keep your head, hip, wrist, and shoulder from getting injured. Raising your head, leaning forward, and not using your hands to fall are all considered the best method to fall prevention.
Concentrate on fitness
If you have been exercising all year long, you will find it really helpful when walking in winter. According to some research, sedentary seniors who practiced Tai Chi just three times per week reduced their possibility of falling by 55%.
Some studies also show that falls not only result in a lot of hospitalizations each year but are also the leading cause of injury death in the elderly.
These eight winter walking tips for seniors are not only helpful for the elderly but also help carers keep their beloved old adults safe and healthy regardless of the cold of winter.
Falls can be debilitating for old adults, but some simple management techniques can help increase safety.
Although staying indoors in cold weather is the best way to stay healthy, wearing the right shoes, equipping yourself with warm clothes, and learning how to walk appropriately in the snow are essential gear when walking outdoors.
Make sure that both indoor and outdoor places of your house are ice-free.
Practice preventive action, such as teaching your old adults the right way to fall and encouraging them to exercise all year round.
What To Wear When Walking In Cold Weather
There is nothing happier and more energized when you feel warm and dry while walking in cold weather. You will feel a little bit chilled but not too cold when first stepping outside. So, follow these tips on what to wear when walking in cold weather to prevent hot and sweaty feelings when walking in winter.
Choose suitable types of fabric
For those who don’t know, high-quality synthetic fabrics can provide you with a huge difference in terms of comfort. So, make sure you invest in a premium-grade one. The most important thing to stay warm while walking in cold weather is to wear multiple layers of clothing. Besides, you can also take them off or put them on more quickly when you feel hot or cold.
Ideally, wear an inner layer of synthetic shirt, such as CoolMax. This type of material is moisture-wicking so that you can always stay dry and cool. You might want the second layer to be insulating (one of two layers). It should be made of lightweight fleece fabric to keep your body warm. Besides, the external layer needs to be waterproof to prevent snow. It should also be breathable enough to let the sweat escape and prevent perspiration.
Wear the right socks
It is recommended to wear high arch running shoes or winter socks because these types can absorb moisture to keep your feet away from sweat and always be dry and warm.
Invest in a good pair of shoes
There are some main features you should bear in mind when choosing the best boots for walking in cold weather. Firstly, the inside lining should be soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking to keep your feet dry and fresh. More importantly, the outsoles should be designed with rugged tread patterns. This can provide you with incredible traction and grip to deal with slippery and icy surfaces. In case you can’t afford a high-quality pair of winter shoes, you can consider buying cold-weather insoles and wool socks.
Wear a scarf or mask
Wear a fitting scarf or mask over your mouth and nose to avoid cold vapors when you inhale. This is typically crucial if you have asthma or heart problems.
Consider purchasing a pair of ski or walking poles
You don’t need to invest in an expensive pair. Just a cheap one is enough to contribute to your stability while walking on icy, snowy, and slippery streets. You can also burn more calories when using poles because your upper body is working out more.
Don’t forget to cover your extremities
You should also wear a hat, gloves to keep your head and hand warm. If it is a bit sunny outside, don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following part includes some of the most popularly asked questions relating to the cold weather and winter walking tips. Keep reading to find your own answers.
How cold is too cold for a walk in winter?
In fact, there is no temperature considered to be too low for outdoor walks, as long as you are healthy enough to minimize the risks of getting sick from cold weather. Nevertheless, you should still be really careful when the temperature is below -18°F.
How do I stay warm when walking in the cold winter?
Firstly, equip yourself with warm layers of clothing. Ideally, you should wear at least three layers. You should look for a lightweight fleece sweatshirt and any kind of sweater made of synthetic fabric or wool blend. These materials offer excellent warmth while absorbing moisture. Remember that don’t choose clothes made of cotton because they don’t wick moisture and you will stay wet. Besides, don’t forget to get a warm or even insulated pair of shoes, hat, and scarf if needed.
Is walking in cold weather bad?
Absolutely no. In contrast, walking in the cold weather can even be really good for your health. Some studies found that beginners could burn 34% more calories when they walked in winter than when they did in milder weather conditions (in particular, 3,880 vs. 3,081 for women and 4,787 vs. 3,822 for men). This might be because you need more energy to trudge through the snow.
What is the best time for walking in cold weather in the morning?
It is recommended to walk in the cold weather after the smog has settled. Actually, this may not be true for many people, but walking at 11 or 11:30 am on winter mornings is good for old adults. Besides, the elderly should avoid morning walking at 6 or 7 am during winter.
So, that is some information about cold weather and winter walking tips. I hope that you can learn several useful tips to stay warm and healthy while walking in cold weather. Besides, you can help your loved old adults to stay safe, heated while having proper exercise during cold days.