By Milton Keynes Nordic Walking at
It’s getting hot out there!
Don’t let hotter weather (either here or abroad, if you manage to go) get in the way of your walking! Milton Keynes walkers obviously know all the tricks – cool tech t shirts (FREE to our monthly members or available to purchase) and a nice woodland walk!
Here are our tips for staying cool and safe when out walking in hotter climes
Hydration is not simply about staving off thirst – its vital for your health as being dehydrated increases the risk of strokes and other serious conditions and exacerbates the symptoms of other conditions too. If you have had achy joints recently for instance, that could be related to lack of hydration and if you are finding you have no energy …. top up your water level rather than reach for a snack
Check out how you can carry the required amount of water comfortably for the walk you have planned and take time to chill it before your walk. Metal water bottles are not only great for the planet, they keep water nice and cool if you put them in the fridge overnight and pop ice cubes in before you leave too.
There are great backpacks with ‘bladders’ in but however you carry it, water is pretty heavy (2 lbs per litre) and we do need circa 2 litres a day and when walking briskly even more to stay well hydrated. It is essential that you drink before and after a walk and never venture out in hot weather without adequate water supplies or the knowledge of where you can fill up if needed.
CHOOSE COOL CLOTHING
Always select clothing that is breathable, loose and lightweight and never forget to wear a hat or visor. The best summer hat we have ever tried is the lightweight and packable Crushin’ it cap which has mesh sides to avoid that ‘sweaty scalp’ feeling but is also designed to block the sun. The Visor keeps the sun off your nose and shields the eyes well too.
In hot weather, long sleeved walking shirts are better than tight T’s and can ward against sunburn and ticks (in fact some have insect repellent and sun protection built in.
In extreme conditions it is also important to cover the neck or wear a ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ style hat with a back flap. A lightweight linen scarf can also work and feels great if soaked with water (if you know you can spare it) or you could invest in a cooling head or neck band which instantly turns cold when wet – small cooling towels are also available. Soak them in icy water before you leave and pop in a waterproof bag until the going get tough and you will LOVE the feeling as you wrap it around your neck and cool off your face.
Another good idea is a spritzer spray (not aerosol ideally) Try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to iced water….bliss!
Obviously, heat usually means sun, so make sure you top up the sun cream regularly and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful rays. Finally, ticks love hot weather too, so grab some tick spray (BOTANIC PROTECT is plant based, eco friendly and smells delicious too) or another favourite SMIDGE, available from our store, GO Outdoors and Amazon.
SEEK OUT THE SHADE!
Your local group will be experts at choosing the best routes for every season and they also adapt the time of many walks to avoid the heat of the day. We think you can’t beat a shady woodland at this time of the year. If you can’t find trees, look for high hedgerows and check out the time of day when they provide the shade on your chosen paths – we often change the direction we set out on circular routes according to where the sun is!
Whilst higher routes can provide some cooler air and a more likelihood of breeze, many are exposed and the sun can be relentless, especially if there are no trees or shade. Walking by water can sometimes be refreshing especially if you get to slip off your shoes and dip those toes in at the end of you walk!
If you plan on travelling with your Nordic Walking poles this Summer be aware……… Very few airlines will now let you board with poles as hand luggage. To that end, you will need to either pop longer poles through the outsize or sports baggage system OR invest in lightweight travelling poles that fit into your suitcase. The Gabel Fusion (pictured) is a good choice as your second pair of poles as they are a 5 in 1 pole that can be used for trekking, skiing and ski touring too. They even come with two strap types and the baskets required for sand and snow. Like most of our three piece poles, they will break down small enough to go into a case and our experienced retail team are happy to provide you with measurements just to make sure.
So, whether you are walking with your group or away on holiday, make sure you keep walking and enjoy the Summer!