As the weather changes, it is time to think about having the gear that you need so that you can get outside to run or walk. Here are the essentials:
Tops and Pants: The material that your running apparel is made of is key. Because moisture will make you cold and uncomfortable, choose materials that do not absorb moisture and are wicking. This includes most synthetic material like polyester, polypropylene, Lycra, Spandex, etc. In other words, avoid cotton.
Jacket: Choose a jacket that is waterproof AND Breathable. Materials like Gor-Tex® keep you dry and also wick away the moisture from your skin. Waterproof jackets are a little expensive, but a good brand lasts a long time. I have a jacket that is 25 years old and it still keeps me dry!
Running Shoes: Choose shoes that are comfortable and offer enough room, cushioning, and support for your particular running gait. The staff at Fairhaven Runners & Walkers will watch you walk or run to see which shoes are best for your gait.
Running Bra: Choose a bra that is snug yet comfortable. For the greatest comfort, choose cotton-free bras.
Socks: Good running socks may seem expensive, but they are worth the cost. For $9-$15 per pair, you can have socks that wick away moisture, last 10 years, and can help you run down Mt. Baker blister-free (I know this from experience!)
Reflective Vest: Since we only have so many hours of daylight during the winter months, a reflective vest will give you one more assurance of safety. I love the Amphipod Xinglet.
Headlamp: If you plan to do any walking or running in the dark, a headlamp is a great way to keep your hands free and have a clear view of what is in front of you. There are some amazing headlamps now that are comfortable to wear and are almost as bright as car headlights!
Depending on your budget, I have found great walking/running gear at Fairhaven Runners & Walkers, REI, T.J. Maxx, Target, Labels, and sierratradingpost.com. You don’t need to be a fashion queen to workout. It’s not how you look, it’s more about having a consistent exercise program that keeps you fit and happy!
*NOTE: When investing in clothing for your walking and/or running routine, think about the value of your health. A few hundred dollars now may save you thousands of dollars in medical bills later. Also, the quality of life, happiness, and feeling of being totally alive that comes during and after a comfortable walk or run in the rain or snow has no price tag.
Here’s to a week of comfortable walking or running – You got this!
Your Partner in Health,
Carol Frazey, M.S.
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