I just did my first winter jog-a-long of the season. It is 30 degrees outside with a wind chill index of twenty degrees. The wind is from the north and there is mixed snow and rain. The snow is sticking on the grass but not on the pavement. I have not made this sort of outdoors excursion in several years – so I took instruction from selective and convenient memories.
The foot wear remains the same – good socks with well padded running shoes. This is an area where less expensive does not pay – spend the money and get good shoes. The new shoes are engineered at some of the finest research facilities in the world. My current brand is Nike – but other popular brands serve as well. These shoes are made to breath with a light webbing across the top of the foot – whooee, they breath in the cold air. My memories told me that my feet will stay warm with the improved circulation of regular motion. I am happy to report that my feet did stay warm.
I seem to recall that keeping the torso warm is the big secret. Under stress our body will naturally direct the blood supply to our vital organs – cold hearts really are bad things to have. Once our body is satisfied with the safety of the vital organs in our torso it will release blood to our extremities. With the safety of vital organs in mind – and hoping to direct blood to my legs and arms, I wore a T-shirt, sweatshirt, and a wind breaker jacket with a hood. I also wore a stocking cap. Just to be sure I took along a pair of cheap jersey gloves to keep my fingers warm – and I am glad I did.
My selective and convenient memory did come up short – pardon the pun. I wore shorts for my jog-a-long. My knees have not recovered their color and I have been home for thirty minutes – my knee caps are a nice reddish pink. But who’s looking anyway.
The air was as I remembered winter exercise – brisk and clean and refreshing. Thirty degrees really is a nice temperature for a jog-a-long. The twenty five mile per hour wind out of the north was the problem. But you just cannot hardly beat the freshness of the air on a cool winter day.
There is a caveat, When the temperature drops below about 15 degrees it can become dangerous. My memory is telling me that heavy breathing in frigid weather is dangerous because we are breathing the cold air into our lungs faster than our body can warm the air. Really cold air striking moist lung tissue can be damaging. We used to jog when the temperature was very low – but my memory tells me that we wore scarves wrapped around our head and breathed through the material.
I have been calling my outdoor adventures jog-a-longs because I walk too fast to be called a walker and I run too slow to be called a jogger. I approach the trip with a sense of urgency – as if i really need to get somewhere in a hurry. Then I walk so fast I find myself jogging. Slow down cowboy. This ain’t your first rodeo. You know better. You have to ride the whole eight seconds – not just four seconds real pretty like.
My exercise program is really coming along. I have lost only a few pounds but have lost an inch from my waist. I hope to continue through the winter.