5 tips for practising power walking in winter

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During winter, don't abandon your power walking just because of the cold and wind! 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!

1 - The "3 layer" system for the fast walker in winter

Are you by nature sensitive to the cold during the winter? Does your motivation take a nose-dive when the cold weather hits?

The solution consists of wearing 3 warm layers. 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 on starting, you will rapidly warm up with the effort, before starting to sweat after a few kilometres of power walking. It is therefore important to be able to remove and add layers of thermal protection according to your needs.

The 3-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 the weather."

Important: avoid cotton clothing that gets wet when you sweat and go for breathable fabrics. For easy removal of layers as you walk, choosing clothing with zips!

Legs should be kept warm during winter

Long sports tights or leggings are essential for walking in winter. When the temperatures are low, 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 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, whereas 60 % of all body heat is lost through the head!"

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

The importance of supplies when power walking in cold weather

Practising power walking in winter consumes more calories, as the body requires more energy to keep warm. Avoid walking on an empty stomach and carry an energy bar or dried fruit in your pocket.

Don't forget your water bottle either, as, contrary to popular assumption, cold accelerates 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 power walking speed to the terrain

If the ground is snowy or frosty, wear power walking shoes which offer optimum grip. Walk slower than usual to be sure of your footing and prevent slipping over.

"Stay on a marked or safe trail", adds Emmanuel, "snow tends to level the ground and hides the holes…"

And if weather conditions reduce the visibility, use your head torch and your fluorescent jacket to see and be seen safely.

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

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Fitness walking is a sport that does not require a huge investment: suitable fitness attire and a good pair of shoes are the essential elements to make the best of your abilities.