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Walk in Winter

Walking Inside-Out
Sometimes the weather stops us cold in our tracks, quite literally! Staying active by walking outside can be difficult due to weather, traffic, pollution, or a number of elements. But this does not mean that you should hide inside, lie in front of the TV, and move less. It means that you need to get creative! You can find ways to:

Take your walk inside;
Help you face the outdoors elements safely and comfortably; and
Take action to make your neighborhood more “walkable.”

Walk Inside
There are a number of reasons to walk inside. It may be too cold. The roads could be wet, icy and slippery. Or maybe your community doesn’t have well-lit streets or enough sidewalks. Don’t fear, because there a number of free, indoor spots where you can walk. You don’t need a gym membership for these:

Shopping Malls – Malls often open early just so people can walk. Check your local mall for walking hours. There may even be a mall walking club that you can join.
Schools – Many schools let community members use the gymnasium during off-hours. Also college and universities typically have indoor tracks and gymnasiums that are open to the public during certain hours.

Museums – Enjoy some culture while walking through all the long halls in a museum. This is especially nice for leisurely walks.

Convention Centers – These are large spaces open to the public. Just check first to see if there’s an event going on.

Airports, Train Stations – Airports and train stations have long halls to walk through and are open to the public every day of the week. The best part is, you can walk without luggage and you don’t have to buy a ticket!

Warehouse Stores – Walk up and down the isles of these hardware, super centers or discount stores… just consider leaving your cash behind so you can focus on your walking not your shopping! Or if you are going to shop – walk all the aisles before you pick your items.

Your Office – If you have a large office, take the stairs to a bathroom on a different floor during your day. A few trips to the bathroom at the other end of the office can help you add up more steps easily.
Your Home – Even if you don’t have a treadmill, you can clear off the floors to walk around rooms in your house, your basement, or even your garage.

Walk Outside
Going outside and walking during cold temps can be an adventure. It can be a beautiful nature trip and a physical challenge. If you take careful steps and dress from head to toe, prepared for the cold and the elements, you will enjoy the peacefulness and magic of winter walks. And no matter where you walk, inside or outside, take a friend! Having company or a walking buddy is a great way to stay motivated, walk more, while enjoying and fostering your relationship.

If you choose to walk outdoors on a cold day, follow these tips to keep you warm. Keep in mind that you want to keep your body warm. But not so warm that you sweat from your clothes instead of your activity.

Wear layers.
Wearing a few thin layers is better than one think layer. This way you can easily add or remove them to adjust to your body temperature. Next-to-the-skin fabrics must actively pull moisture away from your body, dry quickly, breathe and be comfortable on your skin. No matter what weather condition or activity you face, this is the most critical layer for comfort and performance. Fleece has revolutionized thermal insulation clothing and accessories, you can find something that performs and looks great!

As beautiful as nature can be, it can also quickly turn ugly. Look for weather protection fabrics that offer a high degree of wind and water resistance without sacrificing breathability. All insulation fabrics operate by trapping warm air pockets and holding them next to your body. The more “loft” a fabric possesses, the more air it will trap.

Remember a hat and mittens.
Mittens can be warmer than gloves. Give them a try. And since your head holds most of your body heat, keep your head warm and the rest of your body will feel warm.
Cover your mouth.

Taking a breath of cold air can give you the chills. Instead, use a scarf to cover your mouth to help protect your lungs from freezing cold air.
Choose shoes and socks wisely.

Walking shoes or sneakers can be slippery and get wet easily if there is snow or ice in spots near your walk. Choose a light hiking shoe that has a good tread for safe walking. And avoid thick, wool socks that make your feet to sweat. Instead pick warm, thermal socks.

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