I walk outside.
OK, well almost every day. One of the biggest motivators for me to get out and walk is that we have dogs that need the exercise. Like clockwork, our border collie, Mindi, will chew something up if she goes about 26 hours without a walk.
My daily walks might not seem like big news, but when you consider that I live in Minnesota and most recently walked my dogs on a day that was -10 degrees (F) below zero, it sort of takes on a new light. And I walked fairly comfortably, at that.
Now I understand how if you live in a warm climate, you find this hard to imagine, but I swear it is true. So, how do I do it?
Bundle up. This might seem like a no-brainer, but how you bundle up can make a difference. Ever get brain freeze WITHOUT eating or drinking something cold? True story – it happened to me last week. I don’t have bangs and did not wear a hat. That cold wind on my forehead gave me brainfreeze! So, the first thing I put on is a winter outdoor headband. Even with my hair in a ponytail, my ears (and forehead) stay nice and toasty. It also serves to keep the hair out of my face when it is windy. Other key items for me are a winter coat, scarf, mittens and long underwear under my pants. My feet don’t seem to get cold, so I just wear normal athletic socks and tennis shoes. My coat has a huge collar, so I pop that up to help block the wind when needed.
Yaktrax. I swear by this amazing product. Yaktrax fit over your shoes and grip to anything – even icy roads. If the snow pack is fresh, I don’t really need them, but when it melts and re-freezes, the sides of the road are treacherous. Yaktrax keep my from falling and getting hurt. I am 41, people – Falling is no longer funny. It involves ice packs, a chiropractor and some serious downtime. I can walk without worrying or looking like an 89-year-old lady as long as I have them on. I don’t know all that much about actual yaks, but I am going to guess they have a good grip. By the way, yaktrax are not all that comfortable to walk in if there is not something for them to dig into, so save it for walks that are nearly 100% covered in ice or snow.
Skip the tunes. I enjoy walking while listening to music, but really, by the time I bundle myself up and deal with two dogs, it is just too much to add in cords and an iPod. Instead, I enjoy the solitude of winter and the almost deafening crunch of my feet as I walk. When I walk in the dead of night (which around this time of year is about 7:00 pm), it is amazing how crisp and silent the world seems. It really is beautiful and it makes you forget about the insanity of walking two dogs when it is below zero.
Be reflective. In winter it is hard to walk when there is daylight, because there can be so little of it. If you will be walking in the dark, consider adding a safety reflective vest or reflective sash for you (and a vest for your dog).
So have I convinced you? Would you walk in below freezing weather?
Some fun facts from my past week of walking: Mascara freezes. Then it thaws when your scarf redirects your warm breath. Then it refreezes. Sometimes this happens while you are blinking. Then your husband laughs and shakes his head at you when you come in with frozen eye lashes. And he calls you a “hearty soul.” And you never quite ever get used to walking outside and feeling every single hair inside your nose freeze. It is the most bizarre feeling.
Note: This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Please read our full disclosure policy for more info.