Equip yourself from head to toe against the cold and adjust your walking speed. Read our 5 tips for keeping your motivation during your winter sessions!

THE "THREE-LAYER" SYSTEM FOR FITNESS WALKING IN WINTER

Do you really feel the cold during the winter? Does your motivation take a nose-dive when the cold weather hits?

The solution consists of wearing three warm tops. These successive layers of insulation protect you from the cold, and enable you to adjust your thermal protection as the effort requires. Although you may feel cold when you start, you will rapidly warm up with the effort, before starting to sweat after a few kilometres of fitness walking. It is therefore important to be able to remove and add layers of thermal protection according to your needs.

The three-layer system is recommended by Emmanuel Lassalle, cross-country walker, who has spent long hours training, in all weathers:

"On top, I wear a "first layer" vest, to keep the heat in. On top of that I wear a long-sleeved zipped top to insulate me from the cold. Then I wear a waterproof and breathable jacket to protect me from the wind and bad weather."

N.B.: avoid cotton clothing that gets wet when you sweat and opt for breathable fabrics instead. For easy removal of layers as you walk, choose clothing with zips!

KEEP YOUR LEGS WARM IN WINTER

Long sports tights or leggings are essential for walking in winter. When the temperature drops, your muscles become stiffer, which increases the risk of injury.

Wearing tights or leggings combined with warming gels helps to retain the heat that you generate whilst walking.

ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR EXTREMITIES FROM THE COLD

Emmanuel Lassalle also takes care to protect the extremities of the body: "I never forget to wear my hat, gloves and warm socks to protect my feet. The cold enters through the ground, while 60% of all body heat is lost through the head!"

And what about your neck? "A tubular fleece scarf with air vents and which can be pulled up over the nose!"

DON'T FORGET YOUR SUPPLIES WHEN YOU GO FITNESS WALKING IN COLD WEATHER!

Practising fitness walking in winter consumes more calories, as the body requires more energy to keep warm. Therefore, it's better not to walk on an empty stomach, and a good idea to slip a cereal bar or dried fruit into your pocket. 

Don't forget your water bottle either, because, contrary to popular belief, the cold speeds up dehydration!

Drink small mouthfuls of water or an energy drink every 15 minutes. You can also opt for a hot drink if you want to combat the cold and protect a sensitive stomach…

ADAPT YOUR FITNESS WALKING SPEED TO THE TERRAIN

If the ground is snowy or frosty, wear fitness walking shoes with optimum grip. Walk more slowly than usual to be sure of your footing and prevent slipping.

"Stay on a path you already know, or one you know to be safe," adds Emmanuel, "as snow levels out the ground and hides holes…"

And if the weather conditions make it difficult to see, get out your headlamp and your high-visibility jacket so you can safely see and be seen.

By adopting these 5 essential habits, you will grow to love walking in the cold!