A daily walk is the nation’s chance to get out into the fresh air and banish the lockdown blues. Walking not only lowers your risk of heart problems, but it burns calories and helps to maintain a healthy weight. It’s also free and easily fits into your daily routine.
We know it can be hard to feel motivated when the weather is cold and wet—and the sofa looks cosy and tempting—but by investing in the right clothing, footwear and accessories, winter walks can be enjoyable and rewarding. Here are our top picks to go from ‘walking zero’ to ‘walking hero’:
These boots were made for walking…
Whether you are a ‘weekend walker’ or a ‘hardcore hiker’, you will only enjoy your exercise if your feet are feeling comfortable, making a sturdy pair of walking boots an essential item.
Walking boots help to protect your ankles from sprains and twists as they have higher support than regular shoes—handy if you’re exploring in the woods or on uneven terrain. For ladies, the Merrell Women’s Vego Mid Leather Boot is an ideal choice and includes waterproof M-Select Dry technology to help keep your feet dry. They are currently available online, reduced from £120 to £99.
Mountain Warehouse has a range of men’s walking boots, and we especially like the Adventurer Range, available in a choice of colours for just £59.99. They are ideal for winter outdoor adventures and have rubber reinforcements at the heel and toe, making them extremely durable.
For family walks, Trespass come up trumps with their Glebe II Youth Walking Boots, which are now reduced from £69.99 to £39.99. The boots have a breathable membrane and are waterproof – ideal for jumping up and down in muddy puddles!
Coats designed for cold weather
When choosing a coat for cold weather walks it’s important to choose one that offers protection against wind and rain and also has insulating ability to keep the chill out. For women, the Silence Proshell Jacket ticks all the boxes and is available in a choice of six vibrant colours, making it an essential addition to your walking wardrobe.
The Jack Wolfskin Jasper Flex Waterproof Jacket for men has a water-resistant outer layer and a waterproof membrane which keeps you dry and warm in the unpredictable British weather. The real advantage of this jacket is its flexible inserts which move with you, for the ultimate in comfort.
Toddlers always seem to find the muddiest paths on a winter walk—and the Kids’ Puddle IV Breathable Waterproof Puddle Suit will keep them warm and dry as they explore. The all-in-one waterproof suit is made with breathable fabric and has a durable water-repellent finish and elasticated cuffs to keep out the wind, rain and mud. The suit also has a reflective trim which helps to keep kids safe on grey, dark days.
And don’t forget your four-legged friend! Trespass offers a range of waterproof dog coats which will keep your pooch warm—and save you the task of bathing them after a long walk in the rain!
It’s always handy to take refreshments when you set off for an outdoor adventure—but no one wants to carry them! The Daylite Plus Daypack solves this problem as it has a generous 20-litre capacity, yet is a lightweight 0.5kg with a supportive webbing hip belt for additional comfort.
It’s big enough to hold a flask and snacks for the whole family—and has an internal key clip so you don’t have to scrabble around for the housekeys when you return home.
If you’re walking with a toddler in a busy area or near a road, then these LittleLife backpacks are a worthy investment. The backpacks include a detachable rein, so little ones can walk independently and build their confidence while parents hold the reins to keep them safe and within reach. There is a range of cute designs including dinosaur, unicorn and butterfly themes.
Count your steps to better health
Walking has many health benefits and if you’re looking to improve your fitness, it may be time to invest in a wearable fitness tracker. Using a device to count your steps can help with motivation—and inject some friendly competition into the family walk to see who can achieve the most steps.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 is an easy-to-use tracker that is ideal if you’ve never used one before. Not only does it track your steps and exercise, but also has a heart rate monitor and provides tools to help you get a better night’s sleep. It’s also a great choice for swimmers as it can track movement in the water, and of course, it’s totally waterproof.
Fitbit also offer a kid’s activity tracker, the Ace 2, which is currently on sale at the Boots website for £49.99, reduced from £69.99. The tracker can be managed via a children’s account that is linked to a family account so you can keep a close eye on your child’s activity levels.
Kids will love the child-friendly features—they can choose a fun clock face and have the opportunity to earn badges and celebrations as they exercise. It’s also a great way to encourage older kids to get moving during lockdown—especially if they are usually reluctant to put down the Xbox controller!
Warm up when you get home
After a frosty walk, there is nothing better than warming up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. For an indulgent treat, we love these hot chocolate bombs, with a choice of flavours including mint chocolate, mocha and caramel, plus a vegan option.
To enjoy, simply drop the bomb into a mug of warm milk and watch them melt. Pure bliss!