If you live in an area where it gets as frigid as it can here in St. Louis, you may feel put off by the idea of walking outside on cold winter days. Have you heard of silk underwear - not the sexy kind?!
These are purely functional pieces of clothing that are so lightweight you'll forget you have them on, but they add a wonderfully warming layer of protection against the elements. Further, since silk is a natural fiber, it actually breathes. So, if you are one who is intolerant of temperature changes like I am - I often go from too cold to too hot in a matter of moments - this fine layer of under garments is perfect.
You can go to an outdoors or camping goods store and pay about $60 for a set - or you can go on over to sierratradingpost.com and get them for about half that. I own two full pairs and a couple of odd pieces I've picked up at thrift stores for pennies on the dollar. They come in a range of sizes for men and women - although I will say that I find them a bit skimpy on sizing. The good news about that is that they have stretch or 'give' and cannot be seen under your clothing so they don't have to fit perfectly. For men, there is even the fly. I wear a pair of those ;-).
In addition, there are things like CuddleDuds which many people like and the readily available waffle knit long John type underwear you can get at Target or Walmart for about $5 a piece. I don't like the bulk this type of undergarment adds, so I stay away from them. My husband, however, is a fan.
Then, for the truly dedicated winter walkers, there are items like Under Armor which adds a thicker layer and lined polyester garments like ski bibs and jogging pants. I own all of the above and have been fortunate to find them in like new condition at thrift stores. If it's really cold (but not too windy) outside, I'll bundle up with my layer of silk then my cotton (tee shirt type fabric) jogging pants, a hooded sweatshirt, wool sock liners, wool socks, and an overcoat with a turn up collar with a thick scarf to hold the collar up. I just CANNOT wear a hat, but I can wear a hood, so that fills the bill, gives me the layers I need, and has me toasty warm - and even sweaty - for my winter walks.
On the downside, I have more laundry. But, I find it's worth it, especially if it's a sunny day, and I can get in a nice walk. It wakes me up, makes me grateful for my ability to get out and about, thrills my dog (who comes well conditioned for winter with her full length fur coat), and keeps me moving in the right direction both physically and mentally.
So, cold winter days don't let you off the hook. You just need to bundle up. Don't run out and buy a bunch of garments you'll use only a few times a year. Dig through what you already own. A pair of jersey or nylon pajamas works nicely as that inner layer. Sweat suits can be layered. Scarves are easy to come by in most homes. Wear two pairs of socks instead of one. Wear a cap if you can stand it. Layer up and hit the bricks. You'll be glad you did!
BTW - don't be tempted to buy the dark silk under garments unless you only wear dark clothing. The white and off white completely disappear under your clothing. The other plus is that you can hand wash and hang to dry - and they dry very quickly. At home, I wash them in the washing machine. On the road, I rinse them out when I'm in the shower in the evening, hang them on a shirt hanger, and they're dry in just a couple hours.
They go on deeply discounted sales in Spring, so wait for the best buys then if you want to get the best value for your money.
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.
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