"There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."
My mum enjoys quoting this at me when I complain about how cold her house is. Annoyingly she's right. In winter weather you can still safely and comfortably get outside if you have the appropriate preparations. And that doesn't mean buying a load of expensive specialist kit. Layers are the key. On a walk on a really chilly day I'll wear:
- thermal base layer
- waterproof jacket.
- jogging bottoms or hiking trousers
- Don't forget a hat and gloves and you'll be fine!
Layers mean you can rearrange your clothing if you get too warm. I usually intend to start out a little bit too cold because you warm up once you get moving. If you're going on a serious hike in wet weather you'll need some waterproof and comfy walking boots, but if it's pretty dry then trainers and two pairs of socks will do.
When I'm running I wear a long-sleeve top with a short-sleeve one over the top and I like a scuff on my head. It keeps my hair out of my face and my earphones in my ears, only drawback is that I think I look like an elf. I wear the same running leggings whatever the weather but be sure to change promptly when you get back, as you'll cool off very quickly in your sweaty kit.
"Only in the darkness can you see the stars." Martin Luther King Jr
Dark evenings are a problem for those with 9-5 jobs. But there are several ways to negotiate and enjoy those dark evenings.
Get a head torch - don't fight the dark, embrace it! Wear some hi-viz clothing so you can be seen, and a head or chest torch so you can see where to put your feet and enjoy the darkness. Don't forget to look for the stars :)
Urban running or walking - find some quiet streets with street-lighting, it's less creepy than total darkness but make sure to wear some hi-viz clothing anyway. You can even use it as a reason to explore more of your neighbourhood.
Become an early bird - the sun rises at about 8am at the moment but it's light enough by 7:30am. Get in an early jog or cycle before you start your day.
"Rain rain go away, come again another day."
It's amazing how wet weather can bring down my mood. Rain-streaked window panes on a gloomy winter day make me want to never leave the house. However, if the dog needs a walk or my training schedule can't be shifted then I have no option but to get out there. Here's some more wisdom from my mum:
It's never as bad as it seems from inside - this, once again, is true. The sound of rain on a roof is loads worse than the reality of it. Invest in a good waterproof coat and a running'cycling jacket to keep you warm and dry.
Rebellion training - I've written about this before, but you can decide to view your rainy excursion as a character-building challenge.
Don't wear glasses - just as window panes make the weather look worse, glasses do too. They're also pretty dangerous as you can't see a thing when you're cycling in the rain. My prescription isn't too bad, so I just take them off. If contact lenses and laser-eye surgery aren't an option and you're too blind to take your glasses off, then try a baseball cap under the hood of your coat. It helps to keep the rain off a bit.
"But it's cold outside"
The wind is howling, the rain is lashing at the window panes and the trees are bending in the storm. Some days it may be legitimately awful out there. But if you're not getting active outside, there are still plenty of active options available to you.
Don't want to leave your bedroom? - you don't have to. Try a Joe Wicks HIIT video or Yoga with Adriene You just need enough space for a yoga mat (you don't specifically need a mat really), and you don't even need to put shoes on
Just keep swimming - I'm not a gym person, although I've never really tried so maybe I'd like it. But I do enjoy swimming. Find your local pool and go for a splash.
Have a rest day - believe it or not, it's ok to have a day off. If your body is telling you to take it easy then listen to it and don't beat yourself up about not exercising. Enjoy some cosy sofa time and don't feel bad.
"Just do it"
The thought or the look of the outside in winter is almost certainly worse than the reality. Get out there and get active. The worse that will happen is that you'll get wet feet and a cold nose but you'll still feel great for having got out there.
Send me a soggy selfie!!