A walk in not-so-great weather

I was talking to radio personality George Bower yesterday, and we chatted about our November and December Hike the Wild programs for our next radio spot.

He brought up the topic of weather and if we would hold the hikes in yucky weather.

Of course, we take safety into consideration, so if it's thundering and lightning, no we don't hold our hikes. However, if it's a light drizzle or even a hearty snow, we still head out.

People often think if the weather isn't sunny and warm they need to stay inside. That probably came from our moms telling us not to go outside in the cold and get sick. But instead of avoiding the outdoors, what we really need to do is just be prepared.

Is it drizzling? Go for a walk but wear waterproof rain boots and carry an umbrella. One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was take an umbrella and book outside when it was raining and just sit and read while the soft pitter patter of the water hitting my umbrella relaxed me. I even loved going for walks in the rain, because the world just seems quiet and calm. It's a beautiful time to enjoy the outdoors. Plus, if you have kids, what is more fun that letting them jump in mud puddles? Those are memories they will never forget.

Is it snowing? Bundle up! Dress in layers; wear warm snow boots; put a hat on your head and grab something to cover your face. We live a great part of the year in northwest Iowa in cold weather, and we would miss out on an awful lot if we let the cold keep us inside all the time. Walking through the snow is beautiful --- the world is white and new. You might feel like you need to play some ambient music that will make it seem like you're taking a jaunt through a snow globe.

Is it windy? Put on extra layers. We live by the lakes, and wind is a normal phenomenon. However, sometimes that wind makes it feel biting cold. Grab a windproof jacket and put on some long underwear that will seal in your warmth. Think of a walk in the wind as upping the resistance just like you do when you're on the elliptical or treadmill at the gym. It will make you feel even more fit after your walk.

Don't let the change in seasons keep you inside. Think about how you can safely and healthily enjoy the outdoors in a variety of weather and then get out there!

(Take the kids outside for a shape walk.)