7 Bits Of Essential Gear For Outdoor Walking, All Under R300
Now that South Africa is moving to level 3, we can finally get out and exercise when it suits us (awesome!) but gyms are still off limits. If you’re not used to exercising outdoors during winter or you started a walking regime for the first time just for the pure joy of leaving your house during level 4, chances are you aren’t geared up for outdoor training. And without the right gear, outdoor winter workouts kinda suck. So we’ve scouted out a basic starter pack that won’t require a micro loan.
Forget being bitten by a genetically mutated (or radioactive, for those older than 30) spider and developing super powers instead of septicemia. The most unrealistic thing about Spiderman: no way anyone could parkour around the city so freely while wearing a face mask. If you’ve tried running or walking in a mask, you know.
A buff is a far better option. Made from technical fabric, it’s designed to keep your face warm without waterboarding you in the process. So it’s an ideal sub for a mask when you’re out walking, as long as you maintain social distancing. Plus, it’ll keep the wind off your neck.
Technical Long-sleeve Shirt
You know how your mom always told you never to leave the house without a jacket? Well, when you’re exercising outdoors, that rule doesn’t always apply, even in winter. Within five to ten minutes of vigorous walking or jogging, your body starts warming up. If you’re bundled up too tightly, you’ll overheat. A sweaty t-shirt can get chilled by the air and cling to your body, making you cold.
A long-sleeve shirt made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric will keep you warm enough, but will wick moisture away from your skin as you warm up, so you don’t get a chill as you sweat. Brighter is better – you want to be visible to motorists at all times.
On particularly frosty days, if there’s a cold wind blowing or if it’s misty or drizzling, you may want to take a hoodie. Choose one that’s lightweight so it won’t weigh you down while you’re walking or feel cumbersome tied around your waist if you take it off two kays in. Look for cuffed sleeves, drawstrings and words like “wind resistant”. Again, bright or reflective fabrics are the way to go.
If you’re going out walking in the mid-morning or late afternoon, you may find the weather a little iffy. As in, it’s not cold, but there’s a slight chill in the air. You can wear these with a short-sleeve t-shirt to keep your arms warm. When you start warming up, simply roll them down to your wrists and they double as sweat bands.
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This one’s for the guys who refuse to wear anything but black. Or if you’re buying a walking hoodie with the intention of wearing it in other scenarios too. Lumo might keep you alive on the road, but it’s a bit much around the braai. Pull this on over your clothes if you’re walking in low-light conditions wearing dark colours.
A lifesaver on frosty pre-dawn mornings and if you suffer from ear ache when you go walking in the cold. Save your woolly go-to for the stands when sport starts again and instead opt for one made of moisture-wicking, breathable fabric that won’t get sodden and scratchy when you sweat.
If you’re new to cold-weather outdoor exercise, you may have missed the memo that tights for dudes are completely acceptable and, in fact, widely used. They keep your legs warm without restricting movement and prevent inner-thigh chafe. What’s not to love? But if you don’t like the idea of wearing “tights” call them a base layer and wear them under your shorts. No junk outline visible.
You probably already know that exercising in your fashun sneaks is a shortcut to blisters and pain. But did you know that if you’re a walker, running shoes might not be the ideal choice either? The movement of your foot when you’re walking is different to how you run.
Instead of landing flat-footed, it’s a heel-to-toe action. Walking shoes have extra stability in the heel to support your foot. If you’re committed to walking long term, it’s a good idea to invest in highly technical walking shoes that will last. But if this is just a hobby to keep you moving until the gym opens again, there are budget options available.