As someone with a chronic illness, I know that getting outdoors is both a huge challenge and an important thing to do. Add the cold and varying weather temperatures, Autumn can be a difficult time of year to get outside. Finding a balance between getting some vitamin D and not overdoing it isn’t easy. I also have a little sausage dog who adores her walks and whilst my husband does the majority of them, it is a joy for me to be able to go along with them and watch her skipping in delight at all the pleasures of walking outdoors. I thought I’d put together a few tips for getting outdoors in Autumn that I have come across over the years, which can enable people with chronic fatigue to enjoy their walks without overdoing it.
1. Plan your route. Think about how many steps or how far is the best distance for you to not overdo it and consider which route is about the right distance. For me a twenty minute walk is about my limit and even then that can be too much. There is a lovely little walk just up the road from our house that is perfect for that, and whilst I would like to explore a little further some days, I do enjoy walking past the little brook and down the leaf-strewn footpaths.
2. Make sure you’ve got appropriate footwear. Depending on the time of year, your footwear will vary but in the Fall when the weather has chilled and the ground can be boggy, a good pair of sturdy and comfortable boots are a must. I have recently been sent a gorgeous pair from Hotter and even though I’ve only had them a few weeks, I’ve worn them to death. They have a faux fur lining and trim so your feed slide in and sit comfortably inside and a flat sturdy sole reduces your chances of falling or slipping. Also the fact that they can be slid on really helps those of who would struggle to bend down for fastenings.
3. Wrap up warm. Whilst it may look nice when you are sat inside your house, the Autumn wind can be brisk and chill you to the bone. As many chronic illness sufferers can vary in temperature from one moment to the next I would recommend layering up, so if you do start to overheat you can remove layers to cool down. And don’t forget the hats and gloves are your extremities are the first parts to feel the cold.
4. Be prepared to turn around. Sometimes you think you can actually do more than you can and once you get on your way your body may tell you it is struggling. An important thing and something a lot of us chronic fatigue sufferers fight against is listening to our bodies. Even if you have only been out for five minutes and either don’t feel you need to or simply don’t want to turn around, it is important to listen to our bodies and go back home. You will be thankful or it later and any time outdoors is better than none.
5. If you can’t walk you can still get outside. Get someone to grab you a chair and a thick blanket and get outside into the garden. You’ll be surprised how even just doing this can give you a boost. Get a hot drink and a book and soak in the suns rays and crisp autumn breeze whilst staying warm and not overdoing it.
I hope some of these tips can help you to get outdoors and enjoy this beautiful season. If you have any more to add I’d love to hear them in the comments.
*This post is in association with Hotter however all opinions are my own.