By WALX Sailsbury at
The end of August is upon us and the noticeably cooler mornings have begun. Autumn, the most magical season of all, in my opinion, brings cooler, crisper weather and glorious autumnal foliage.
You will hopefully already know how good you feel after a brisk walk which in the cooler temperatures is heightened, so stopping at this time can really affect how you feel physically & mentally.
So, EMBRACE the weather. NOTICE how different everything looks, how much greener is the grass, how much faster the rivers flow. If you only go out on sunny days then you are really only seeing & experiencing a tiny part of the story.
Keeping the muscles warm at the beginning of a walk as you warm up and at the end, as you cool down is hugely important. It prepares the body for exercise and then allows for a gradual recovery to pre-exercise heart rate & blood pressure. so how do we do that when the temperatures are lower?
Wearing lightweight, wicking layers that you can shed as you go is the way forward! Technical layers have wicking qualities which means the sweat will be drawn away from your body, the fabric will dry quickly and you’ll stay warmer. A base layer, either short or long sleeve, a fleece and a waterproof is perfect, adding gloves & a hat as necessary as well as waterproof trousers when the weather dictates.
A windproof/waterproof jacket is perhaps THE most important piece of clothing. Blocking out the wind means you’ll stay warm and we all know that getting wet is never fun!
If you’re going on a longer walk then also consider a backpack cover or liner to keep everything dry inside too.
By wearing a hat, you will keep your whole body warmer, as 80% of body heat escapes from your head. But remember also that body heat escapes from any part of the body that is exposed to the elements so also consider gloves, especially whilst walking with poles.
As the temperatures begin to drop and the ground is damp from the evening dew even if it is not raining you will need to consider waterproof shoes or boots. Keeping your feet dry will prevent blisters from forming and making for rather a miserable experience. Wool socks are perfect, merino if your budget allows, as it is a natural product and dries quickly but also keeps your feet warm, or cool!
Take a look at GRUBS Discover range, used & recommended by Walx instructors.
This is relatively easy to do in hot weather but when it is cooler it can be difficult to remember as there are fewer visible signs. Perhaps you do not feel thirsty or warm. Water is good for all the muscles in the body, especially during exercise, and prevents dehydration. Carrying a small bottle of water in your backpack and taking regular sips during your walk will benefit your efficiency and prevent using extra energy stores.
Perhaps consider a pretty flask or water bottle rather than the single-use plastic ones so readily available. Water-to-Go has many, offering a sustainable alternative to buying bottled water and helping to reduce plastic waste too.
Be aware of nature, embrace the weather and notice how the same route walked in the spring & summer months looks different in the autumn & winter. Be present and grateful, stop to breathe, and listen.
A truly lovely way to capture these changes is to take a simple picture in the same place, of the same scene, month by month. After 12 months you will have a montage of images that could be put together as a souvenir of a year walked in nature.
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