Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Winter Walk

About 2 weeks ago, a friend of mine at Weight Watchers let me borrow some of her old Weight Watchers Magazines that I had never read before. While I was in the hospital last week with my son, I decided to pull a few of those out since I was bored out of my mind. Almost every magazine talked about walking. Those magazines got me thinking. I need to do a better job at walking again. When I was consistently losing weight, I walked about 5 days a week. I have not been outside walking since the end of October. I had not been given the time I needed to go walking. Dh was working and had night classes two days a week and the other days he was doing his homework at night. It also got too cold by the time he came home. So, I would do Leslie Sansone's Miracle Mile 1-2 times a week. Well since that time, my weight loss has definitely not been that great. So, I know I need to walk more. Even the new Weight Watchers Momentum Plan has added a new Healthy Guideline and that is to exercise 30 minutes most days of the week. Walking was about the only exercise that I could do when I started watching what I ate and trying to lose weight, and I was 323 plus pounds. It was just the right exercise for me. So, now I need to figure out how I can add it to my day. It is so hard to get that time I need. I like my exercise time to be me time. The time I get away from the kids and I am just by myself. I have tried taking the kids with me, but I am so busy helping all 4 that I don't have time to get a good workout. So, I don't know how its going to happen or if I am going to have to just do the Leslie Sansone tapes that I have. I need to work on that.
One article that got my attention was Warm Up to Winter Walking from the November/December 2005 Weight Watchers Magazine. It said that the best way to not worry about Winter weight gain is to get out and walk. It also gives 5 tips for Winter Walking. First, "Take a New Path." A shady walking path may be perfect for the hot summer, but in the winter you need to pick a path that offers a lot of sun, but offers protection from the wind. It even said to choose a path with lots of cafes along the way so you can stop and get something warm to drink if you get too cold. I live in a very rural place and that just would not be available to me. Second, you need to have a, "Cold Stretch." Exercising with cold muscles can cause injury, so the article suggest that you extend your usual warm-up by 5 to 10 minutes. Cold weather can also cause you to cool down too quickly and that may cause you muscle cramps, so you should plan for a post cool down walk indoors. Third, the article recommends to, "Drink Up." Your body actual increases urine production when it is exposed to cold, increasing the likelihood of dehydration during exercise. The article recommended drinking 1 cup of water every 15 minutes during your walk. Fourth, "Upgrade Your Gear." It suggest getting a pair of waterproof walking shoes with deep grooves on the soles for traction on slick surfaces. The article also suggest you can waterproof your shoes by coating them with a spray-on waterproofing fabric treatment to keep the moisture out, but you have to reapply it often especially after walking in very wet conditions. Last, "Watch the Weather." Pay attention to the wind chill as well as the temperature. If there is a frostbite warning, move your walk indoors. The article finally gave some ideas on dressing for the weather by layering. It also said to avoid wearing cotton in the winter because it absorbs moisture and clings to your skin. The dampness will make you colder, but is also a frostbite hazard. I knew that about cotton, but I guess I never really thought about that. Anyways, very interesting article.
Today I really wanted to get out. All my kids are sick and last week I spent the entire week indoors and I just really needed some alone time and wanted to give "Winter Walking" a try. At noon today it was 32 degrees. So, I dressed warmly with a coat, hat, and gloves and headed off to the track I used to walk at a lot. It was so nice and quiet on the track and I was able to walk for 30 minutes. One part of the track was a little bit slippery, but I just walked in the grass when I got to that point. It was even flurrying as I walk. My face got a little cold at times and next time I would put on some chap stick before going, but overall I had such a great time. Now, I just wish I could figure out how I could get out like that most days.
Do any of you go "Winter Walking?"


Carrie said...

I should walk outside more! Right now I just treadmill at the gym! I can't wait till it warms up though and I can comfortably walk in the canyons here in Utah! I have been gone from Utah for 4 years and just moved back! I am proud of you for getting outside it is COLD!!!

UKZoe said...

Hmmmm, no loss this week, so perhaps I too need to up my walking, but with a slightly bad back I can't always go all that far. Have to do lots of little walks. Bought a treadmill and that helps, I can jump on, do a mile, then jump on later and do another.