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> Back to Plus-Size Fitness Excerpts List

Plus-Size Fitness Excerpt from Don't Weight

Walking Out in the Weather

Do not go walking in the ice or snow. There is too much danger of falling. Do not walk when it is VERY hot. There is too much danger of heat stroke. If you make the right preparations, you can walk outside almost any other time.

Let's consider cold weather walking first. Start walking in the early fall and your body will adjust to walking in the cold as the weather changes. To protect your throat from the cold, your body will efficiently produce a mucus layer. By the time you are done with your warm-up you will have your protective layer in place in your throat and breathing the cold air will feel fine. When it is very cold, you can also wear a scarf over your face. Breathe in through your nose to warm the air, and breath out through your mouth for a quick full exhale. It is up to you to wear coverings on your head, ears, fingers, and face if needed. Dress in layers so that you can take off or put on layers of warmth as you go through your workout. Wear socks (two pairs if needed) that wick away moisture to keep your feet warm. When you start walking in the fall, you will be surprised how well you adapt over the weeks as winter descends. You can enjoy, as the song says, "walkin' in a winter wonderland"

The same body adaptations are true for warm weather walking. If you start working out in spring and continue as it gets warmer, your body will adapt to the warm weather. Every year there are people in my fitness class who are working out for the first time as summer approaches. I hear the veterans of the class tell them it will be fine. I tell them that their bodies will adjust. Still, as the summer progresses, every year I hear the new participants say with shock: "I can't believe it. The heat does not bother me anymore. Not just in exercise class. I mean, the heat does not bother me in my daily life!"

In warm weather choose clothes that will help you keep your cool. If you like to be covered up, there are big mesh T-shirts that let the air flow through and preserve your privacy at the same time. Here is an unusual tip that saved my butt when I was a long distance runner in hot weather: water. Yes, you should drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. And you should not wait to get thirsty, that means you are already dehydrated. So, we all know about drinking water. However my unusual tip is to WEAR water. I'm not kidding. I used to put a wet handkerchief over my head and let it drip onto my shoulders. I held the wet handkerchief in place with a wet sweatband. On really hot days I would wet my shirt before I put it on (I chose printed T-shirts that were not see through when wet) and wear a wet shirt. The other runners were red as beets and panting hot. I could run ten or fifteen miles wearing water and stay comfortable. I am happy to say that I no longer abuse my knees by running. Now, I am the only gardener in my neighborhood who is unaffected by a heat wave. I look silly with my wet head and wet shirt. But I am calm and cool even when I'm digging a ditch at 99. If you walk or workout in the heat, try wearing water.

Many pages ago I started commenting on the "simple" exercise of walking. It isn't really simple at all! That is important. If you think a task is simple, and it is really complicated, you will probably get stuck somewhere and not finish the task. When you realize the task is complicated and discover the steps involved then you can take those steps one at a time. That is the way to set yourself up for success.

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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