Tips for Staying Active in Winter
For those of us in colder climates, it can be difficult to keep active during the winter months. This month we shared tips on how to stay active and safe on the snow and ice.
December 19, 2019
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Get Up and Go – Tips for Staying Active in Winter
Presented by Elyse Heinrich and Steve Kelley
December 19, 2019
Elyse H: Welcome to everyone for this month's Get Up and Go. My name's Elyse Heinrich, if I haven't met you or had a chance to say hello. And today I'm here co-hosting with Mr. Steve. You want to say hello?
Steve K: How is everybody? It's Steve Kelley and just delighted that you all could join us today. This is terrific.
Elyse H: Right. So a couple things I'd like to share and get your ideas on or if you've had experiences to share with everyone on the group. So this is an article out of Lincoln, Nebraska though. I think it could be generalized to the Midwest easily. People are already falling on the ice this winter. So they posted a few tips to help minimize your risk of falling on the ice. And they have a picture along with the article, and it says, "Remember to walk like a penguin." Excuse me, "The penguin helps us remind us how to walk on ice." And so, the long and short of it is when you are walking either on a slippery surface or you're not sure if there's going to be ice to keep your weight forward and on your front foot. Keeping your arms out by your sides can help you to balance. Now, I know if you're using a mobility device it might not always be the case, although a white cane is going to be out in front of you. If you are going to be walking, flat footed or even take some short shuffling steps instead of some bigger steps, you can shuffle along the sidewalk there. And wearing footwear that provides really good traction. And I'm going to come back to that one in a minute here, about the footwear. So step down and not out from a curb or a step. You can keep your knees slightly bent when you're walking so your leg doesn't get locked. Or if possible, if there's any snow around, you could walk on the snow or grass instead of the icy spot or hopefully salted sidewalks and that.
So they ended their article with, "The best advice to avoid going out in icy weather whenever possible, is just to stay in." I thought, "Well, that doesn't fit with this group. We're ready to get up and go out." So just some helpful tips to keeping your weight forward on your front foot. If you think of a penguin, the animal, how they kind of wiggle/waddle back and forth, their head is a little bit forward and they do that little shuffle step with their fins. So that was our article. I'll share in the show notes as well. And then going back to the footwear that provides traction. Has anybody heard about Yaktrax for shoes? And I'll spell it. Y like yellow, A-X, T like Tom, R-A-X. Yaktrax. And they are removable traction for shoes or boots, and they have grippers. Some of them almost have, like it looks like a cleat. Some are plastic or metal little spikes that can catch into the surface or the ice or where you're walking. I've seen a lot of mail carriers use these. Especially the UPS and FedEx delivery guys, when they run in and out from their truck to the doors in the wintertime to get better traction on their feet, underneath them, or if their sidewalks haven't been cleared off yet. Anybody hear of these or have tried them before?
Steve K: You know, as luck would have it, I was talking to a friend of mine who is an orientation and mobility specialist who works in Western Massachusetts, and we were trying to remember, there's a company that makes these in Biddeford, Maine. They are called STABILicers, and I'll put them in the show notes. Apparently, there are several different varieties out there. So what he was describing is you've got a variety like... And I think the Yaktrax are like this, where they've got a very small... I don't even want to call it a spike, I want to just call it maybe a screw head or something like that. It's quite small and it doesn't affect your walk very much. And then, you've got another version that has a little bit more elevation. And I think that those are probably great for certain circumstances, but for walking, what Mike was saying, they can actually throw your balance off a little bit.
And then, there's another brand that is kind of like a Slinky. Those of us who remember Mr. Rogers, probably remember the Slinky, right? And they kind of have a Slinky on the bottom of them and they might be better than nothing, but they're probably not the best. That, in his opinion, wasn't the best one. So, I think the STABILicers and the Yaktrax, are pretty good for just general walking and add a little bit of stability for you. And I noticed with the STABILicers, I've been using those for a couple of years because in my previous commute, I had five or six blocks that I needed to walk from the bus and oftentimes in Portland, Maine it is icy and snowy and that sort of thing. But now, they have like six or seven varieties. They've got some that are specialized for running, some that are specialized for hiking, and then there was something called the STABILicers Maxx. And I don't know what that's for, maybe climbing glaciers or something, I don't know. But they were all pretty cool and there was a wide variety of them.
Elyse H: Yeah, that's very neat. I see some hands up, so let's see what other people have to share. Edward, let's see if we can... Can you hear us?
Edward: Hi. How are you this afternoon?
Elyse H: Okay. How's it going?
Steve K: Hey Edward.
Edward: Hey great. Hey, that was interesting about Lincoln, Nebraska. I just completed orientation on mobility training last year in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Elyse H: Okay.
Edward: And they do get very slick roads in the wintertime, and the reason being is that the humidity there is so high in the wintertime. And usually in the morning there is fog, so when you get out and you get moving early in the morning, everything is like a total sheet of ice.
Steve K: Wow.
Edward: And as far as down there, that's what we always used was the Yak inserts, or that fasten to your shoes. And they make different styles. They make them for deep snow, they make them for walking on ice, and I think the Yak ones that I have used, they're called the Yak Explorers. It's a mix of the coil little springs and the little studs, and they are very comfortable to walk with.
Elyse H: Oh, that's great. That's... Yeah.
Steve K: I like that, that they put in that combination of both. I mean, just out of curiosity, with the Yaktrax, the STABILicers remind me of a pair of galoshes that I used to wear as a kid, but it's not all solid rubber. It's kind of like this rubber netting that you just put over the bottom of your boot. It's pretty easy to do. Is that what the Yaktrax are like as well?
Edward: Well, actually, the Yaktrax is like a frame that fastens to the bottom of your shoe.
Steve K: Okay.
Edward: It's like the outside perimeter of your shoe, that's where the frame fits around and then underneath the shoe it's like a webbing of the springs, and also there's like rubber webbing underneath that has the studs attached. And I tell you, they are slick. And they go on and off your shoes pretty easily.
Steve K: Yeah.
Edward: And, like mine, you can pick those up anywhere, like at Dick's Sporting Goods. And I think they run about $25 a pair. And I think they range in size from 7s all the way up to 14s, so.
Steve K: That's very comparable to ones I'm describing. I think they started somewhere at like $18 for the really fancy ones, the Maxxs I think they were around $50.
Steve K: But for most of us, it's just about a $20 investment.
Edward: And you know, when I used those Yaks, especially when it's really slick... I don't know if anybody else has ever tried this, but instead of using your open palm grip with your cane, I always switch over to a pencil grip. This way it helps shorten my strides and then this way I'm less likely to fall because I'm taking smaller steps.
Elyse H: Oh, very neat. That's a neat strategy. I've not heard of that.
Elyse H: Is it something they worked with you in Nebraska last year? Yes.
Edward: Yeah, yeah.
Elyse H: Okay.
Elyse H: Okay. And did you find you had better, I guess footing, so to speak when you were out and about?
Edward: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, just shortening that stride a little bit.
Elyse H: Okay.
Edward: Because during our orientation and mobility training, we did a lot of outdoor travel, especially in the snow.
Elyse H: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Edward: Sometimes when we'd get good icy days, we'd actually dedicate the whole day just out traveling because there's other skills we were learning down there as well, but... Yeah, I love walking out in the snow. I think it's great, so.
Steve K: You know, I think for some people that can be really intimidating. The idea of maybe slowing that pace down, shuffling the steps a little bit, and then putting on some other sort of outer gear that will help with the ice, like the Yaktrax or the STABILicers, that may be enough to get folks out a little bit more.
Edward: Oh yeah. And then, you guys also made a suggestion earlier in that article about walking in the grass. That's also another good strategy as long as the snow isn't too deep because you can still walk a straight line when you're tapping back and forth, as long as you know you're making contact with one of your taps on the concrete, and then the other one's in the grass, that gives you some kind of an indication that you are walking in a straight line.
Elyse H: Oh, that's a great tip. So using the tip of your cane to shoreline to the concrete even though your feet might be on the snow or on the grass?
Edward: Yeah, well not just so much shore lining it. With my cane, just as you're tapping back and forth. Let's say that I'm walking in the grass and the sidewalk's on my left side, as long as I'm tapping on my right and I feel grass and then when I tap to my left as long as I'm hitting that hard surface, that gives me somewhat of an idea that I am walking somewhat of a straight line and I'm not veering too far to the right or the left.
Elyse H: Okay. Okay, neat.
Elyse H: Very neat. I feel like you're our poster-
Edward: Oh no. I'm still new at this.
Elyse H: -participant. Do you live there, in Nebraska? Or you were just there for training?
Edward: Yeah, I live in Omaha.
Elyse H: Oh okay. Great.
Edward: I'm new to this whole thing. I lost my sight just two years ago. Like I said, I completed orientation and mobility training last year in Lincoln. I was down there for about 10 months. It does get pretty slick. But I feel that's probably the best time to learn, is in the snow because if you can master that, you know?
Elyse H: Right, right. Summer days is like a day at the beach.
Edward: Right, right.
Elyse H: Yeah.
Elyse H: Yeah.
Elyse H: Well, thanks so much for sharing.
Edward: You bet.
Elyse H: And joining in. This is great.
Steve K: Thanks Edward.
Elyse H: I see we have another hand up. Let's see. Barb, you're next in line. Can you hear us?
Barb: Well, actually, y'all describing one of what I have. So, but I do have a question. When you're wearing no on your shoes, if you're out shopping, is it okay to wear them inside the store or do you need to slip them off before you go inside?
Steve K: So Barb's question is that, are these things okay on like the floor and inside for shopping and that sort of thing? I'm going to just quickly jump in and describe how I did it, but I'd be kind of curious how Edward did it or anybody else. I would often just stop at the front mat when I stepped into the office and slip them off. I mean, they're relatively easy to get on and off. And once I did that, I'd put them on my backpack, just hang onto them. I was always a little concerned that they might nick the floor or something like that.
Barb: Yeah, I didn't know if they would be flex. Like a lot of the shorts had the tile floors and that it might be kind of slick [crosstalk].
Steve K: Yeah. You bring up a good point too. I mean, that was the other thing that I worried about in addition to scratching up the floor. You'd be sliding along with those because there's that little bit of a metal spike on the bottom of it and there's several of them on there. That's what keeps you going in the ice. But that's going to become kind of slippery if you're on a linoleum floor or something like that.
Barb: Well, thank you.
Steve K: Oh, certainly. Thanks for the question.
Elyse H: Good question. I've only seen them being used and I've only used them outside. So, although, I was shoveling or hiking around outside, I didn't even really think about scratching up the floor or it being a little bit slippery once I got inside. I just didn't want to drag the snow that was stuck in there, indoors. So that's why I took them off.
Elyse H: Jody, go ahead.
Jody: Hi, I'm Jody and I'm in New Hampshire, and I like the idea of what you're describing, but I don't wear them because I have a seeing eye dog and I wouldn't want to risk stepping on his foot with something sharp like that. So I wear SOREL boots and I love them because they've got like a tire tread bottom and I rarely slip wearing those boots. And I've heard there's actually a type of boot that will stick to the ice. And what I hate is, when you have a warm day and you have melting and then it freezes. So they've got all that really slick black ice everywhere.
Elyse H: All right.
Jody: But I wouldn't want to wear anything with spikes on it. Anything because I wouldn't want to step on my dogs’ foot.
Jody: This morning it was four degrees, and my feet were cold. I mean they are incredibly good at insulating your feet too. They're very warm.
Steve K: Jody, how did you decide on those particular types of boots? Was it just checking out the tread or did somebody suggest those as-
Jody: Well, I had heard about them, and we actually went to the outlet store years ago and I had gotten a pair and it's the first pair of really well insulated boots that I've ever owned and I just love that tire treaded bottom because I just rarely slip.
Steve K: And that that works pretty well even in the ice?
Jody: Yeah, it works okay in the ice. Black ice, it's really hard to deal with. And it's also hard when in the spring when the snow melts and everybody walks in the slush and then it freezes again. So you have a very uneven surface. You can't even walk on that. That's just impossible.
Steve K: Yeah, yeah.
Jody: I walk in the road when the sidewalks are like that.
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes.
Jody: But for the most part that tire tread bottom is... And I'll just try to see if I can find the name of it, my daughter was telling me about the brand of boot that actually sticks on the ice so that you don't slip. I'm yet to find out what those are.
Steve K: Oh, I'd love to know what that is, yeah.
Jody: Yeah, yeah.
Elyse H: This is Elyse quick. So Google tells me, it's S-O-R-E-L, SOREL boots.
Jody: Oh, okay. S-O-R-E-L?
Elyse H: Yeah.
Jody: Okay, thank you.
Elyse H: And they look waterproof as well. Have you found-
Steve K: Anyone else have any experience with either of these products or just kind of walking around on the ice and the snow one when it's real slippery? Or maybe some... Yeah.
Barb: Okay. And-
Elyse H: Work arounds, said you found [crosstalk].
Barb: And too out there. I live down in Southwest Missouri and we don't get it as bad as the Northern part in Missouri, but we still get some ice and snow. So I just know if it's at all possible, I just stay home that day.
Elyse H: Well, that's a work around then.
Elyse H: Yes. Yeah,
Sally: It's Sally. I don't know if the raise hand function is working for me or not, but I had a couple of comments or at least reinforcement to what others have said.
Elyse H: Please, you can join right in.
Sally: Sure. Particularly with the spiral style Yaktrax, those are the first and last ones I ever tried. Like our New Hampshire caller, I have a dog and don't want to wear anything with spike, so they seemed like a good option. But what I found is on mixed surfaces, particularly in a city, you can go from having great traction on ice to absolutely skidding on cement or tile. It doesn't even have to be tile though, like brick. So I would absolutely recommend against those. And also two things about dog use, which haven't been mentioned, I don't think. One, when your dog is pulling a lot, it's going to shift your weight to your heel. So it's really hard to do that weight forward kind of walk. But on the other hand, I think with the help of a trainer, or depending on how good you are at tweaking your dog's training yourself, you can actually teach your dog to brace if you hit black ice. So some of my dogs have been better than others, but one of them in particular, when he noticed there was no tension in the hardest handle, he would stop and brace. And so, if I lost my balance or skidded on ice, he could help prevent the fall.
Elyse H: Oh wow.
Sally: Yeah. And trade off there. I think that was it. There were three points originally, but I think that's all of them. Other than, are there any dog dogs needed out there who have good recommendations? Yeah.
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sally: I think that's it.
Steve K: Sally, you bring up a really good point because in Portland, Maine there are a lot of brick sidewalks and I too found that, if there was a layer of ice or snow on it, you would grip. But if that had melted off and you were left with like the wet brick or even with a dry brick or something like that, you really had to pay attention because it could... I never felt like I was going to lose my footing. It wasn't as slippery as ice, but you really do have to practice a little bit to get the feel of it.
Sally: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And it may have been the combination of that and me having a dog, you know? Because they [crosstalk], so.
Steve K: Yeah, exactly. Something like that could have thrown your balance off for sure.
Sally: Yeah. But definitely recommend the spiral ones.
Elyse H: Great. I see Edward's hand is up. Can you hear us?
Edward: Yeah. I just wanted to make another comment.
Elyse H: Yeah.
Edward: When we were talking about slipping with those Yaks on tile floors or sidewalks. That is a real concern, because the yaks that I have, you cannot walk on tile floors because you will slip, and you will twist my ankle. The most important thing about when you're choosing a pair of Yaks for your shoes is, make sure you're wearing the shoes that you're going to use outdoors when you go on choose a pair. And then, usually, they will help you size up what you actually need, because you want the Yaks to fit very securely on the shoe. But with that being said, the Yaks, they come on and off really easy and like the other gentleman said, it does take a little practice. I mean, I wouldn't just throw on a pair and go outside for the first time. I would try them on, walk around your block a few times. Practice getting them on and off your feet while you're out in the snow. And yeah, once you do that, you shouldn't have any problems. I didn't have any problems. Like I said, they come on and off pretty easy so, but you do definitely want to practice with them.
Elyse H: Well, that's a great tip too, right?
Elyse H: The first hint of a snowstorm, you're going to get already in your gear and rush right out, but you're not familiar with how they feel or how you're going to be walking a little differently with them.
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And did you say before about what kind of boot or shoe that you wear them or wherewithal? Like which ones have you found?
Edward: I wear Timberlands and it's just the basic Timberland boot.
Elyse H: Okay.
Edward: And it's a medium sole. I don't think, I would get any kind of boots that have a really high sole, because if you combine that with the thickness of the Yak, that will elevate you a little bit. And like I said, if you're not used to that feeling, that probably would not be a good idea. And plus, when you're walking on ice, you probably want to be close as possible to the ground that you know as you can.
Elyse H: Well, if you're getting used to it. I guess I'm thinking of ice skating, your blade is up higher, but then again you get a different feel for how that boot fits and feels versus a shoe.
Elyse H: Right.
Edward: Right. But like I said, when you go in and you choose a pair, make sure you're going to bring with you, wear the pair of shoes that you'll actually wear outside when you go and choose a set of Yaks. Or any kind of footing like that.
Elyse H: Yeah. So have you found that the yaks fit better over boots versus shoes?
Edward: Oh, yeah.
Elyse H: Or they size them for that shoe, right?
Edward: I've never tried them on shoes. Just my boots.
Elyse H: Okay, okay.
Edward: So yeah.
Elyse H: Because on their website... Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Edward: Well, I was just going to say, like I said, my boots, it's kind of a medium sole, so you're not elevated too high. I think the soles maybe a half inch at the most, but it is a good insulated boot.
Elyse H: Okay. Okay.
Elyse H: Well that's good, good tips to share. Thank you.
Edward: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Elyse H: A follow up to you Steve, for your STABILicers, you said you've used them in the past?
Steve K: Yeah.
Elyse H: How is their durability? Do they last from season to season? Or if you had to replace some-
Steve K: No, they do a good job of lasting. The one thing that I noticed, and I think I probably had sized the first pair wrong, was that, I had one that would slip off the boot from time to time. And it seemed to happen when it was in really deep snow. So a little bit of snow would accumulate on it and next thing you know, you realize, "Oh I don't have it on any longer," and you'd have to kind of backtrack and try to find it, which was never a lot of fun. But when I got the second pair, I got them a little bit tighter and I haven't had that problem. Because they're rubber, I'm assuming that after two or three years of regular use, you're either going to lose them or they're going to lose their stretch just a little bit and maybe be more inclined to come off the shoe or the boot.
Elyse H: Okay. Okay. So they're pretty durable?
Steve K: Yeah.
Elyse H: That sounds good.
Steve K: I'm going to imagine that the Yaktrax are probably the same way.
Elyse H: Sure. I think, I lost them in moving at some point in my life, but the pair I did have, they lasted for a few seasons. I see we have another hand up. So let's see. Sharon, can you hear us?
Sharon: Yeah. Hi.
Elyse H: Hi.
Sharon: I was just wondering about something that'd be fun if I ask you, I'm going to tell you what happened with them a couple of times. When I was... I live here in Waco, Texas and one of the years that is, it was snowing and of course, [inaudible] too, and at first I wanted to show I was going to do it, but at the time, I didn't know anything about those four jobs. Talking about little bit of go, no, but eventually, I did end up running buddies though. But I was wondering, if with me being here at Waco, you don't want to pay places here in Waco would have some stuff like that, that you mentioned? Or is there a way y'all can find out?
Elyse H: You're talking about the things that fit over your shoe for traction?
Elyse H: Oh sure. They're available online. If you don't have a sporting goods store or a big box store near you that you could order them from.
Sharon: Well, I mean, I'm not... So it could be like a sporting goods stores, is that right?
Elyse H: Right, right. Sometimes they have winter gear, like snowboards or winter skis and poles and it probably would be buying the accessories with hats and mittens and socks and traction for your shoes or boots.
Steve K: Is that the sort of thing that might be carried in a sporting goods store in your part of Texas? Or you may actually have to try to find it online as opposed to something in a local sporting goods store. And if you don't get a whole lot of ice and snow, they're probably not going to carry it.
Sharon: Well, I know sometimes-
Speaker 8: We don't get much snow [inaudible]. We don't get much-
Sharon: Oh, we don't get... I mean we maybe get snow but not as much.
Speaker 8: [crosstalk].
Sharon: But you never know about Texas weather [inaudible] about anything that day.
Steve K: Well, you may find sharing the best bet is like a place like Amazon or something like that. I have seen, I think both of those, from either is available from Amazon, so that you might want to try there. Just know your shoe size, whatever size your boot is. That's the important thing.
Elyse H: Yes, thank you. Barb, you're next in line?
Barb: Okay. Well, for a former Southern Texas person, moving into a colder climate. Do y'all have recommendations for types of outer wear? For people to wear in the colder weather. Are there certain types of jacket, pants, gloves, hat, whatever that do better to seal off the cold weather?
Elyse H: Good question, Barb. So types of outer weather or tried and true things that people like for colder climates?
Elyse H: Okay. Let's open that up to our group too. Let's see. Liz, I see your hand is up. Would you like to go ahead?
Liz: Sure. I'm in Fort Worth, Texas right now. I was raised in Northern Minnesota, so I have lots of experience with that down here. When the cold fronts come, first we get rain, then [inaudible] and then, the temperature drops and turns into ice. I know you might get to see some snow on topic effect if you see snow. I thought that's like a false sense of security because it's actually ice underneath. So, and then Texas people born here do not know how to drive because it only happens every two to three years, and it only usually stayed on the ground for like one or two days. So personally, for my safety I have to stay in, or I get hit by a car because there's no sidewalks in my part of Fort Worth. So that's what I would have to do. But warm clothes, I think that the best places to work for winter for you, is what people are buying. Like Northern Michigan or Northern Minnesota. The places that pop up, like if you do a Google search, that will give you a hint of what's more, because I don't know what they have anymore. I've been down here like 30 years. So I don't remember what I used to wear except those some snowmobile boots, lots of the ladies calls them. I remember those, they weren't easy to hop around again. I was a kid.
Elyse H: Okay. Thank you so much for sharing. That's great information. Jody can you hear us?
Elyse H: Okay, there you are.
Jody: Yeah, I wanted to comment on visibility because I live on a street without sidewalks. And so, when they plow the snow, of course the road gets more narrow and I, it makes it more difficult to walk. So a lot of times I won't walk, because I think it's just too dangerous. But as far as warmth goes, I have a down parka that I got from L.L.Bean years and years and years ago. And that's really, really warm. And they last forever too. So the only disadvantage to it, is that it's asphalt gray. So when I'm walking down the street and the road is visible and, and I'm not because they just blend in with the roads. So whenever I walk in my neighborhood, if I have any concerns, I'll wear a safety vest. And I actually, have a safety vest for my seeing eye dog too, because you know, he just blends in too, and there's all kinds of lights that you can get to clip on dog collars or on your clothing. And you know, just I think people should remember that the sun does go down a lot earlier in the wintertime and we're a lot less visible. So visibility, I think, is a big concern.
Steve K: That's a great tip. You're so right about that. And I think just adding, these days you can get these LED lights that are nice, and they can really attract a lot of attention or just what you're doing, where you're putting the safety vest on. And that's a great idea.
Jody: Yeah. Especially when you have an asphalt gray coat, you just kind of blend right in with the road.
Elyse H: Yeah.
Jody: And when the weather is warmer, I have a bright yellow windbreaker that I wear, and I have a bright yellow raincoat too.
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jody: Then I've got a bright yellow raincoat for the dog too. So that easily visible too. But I think we have to consider visibility because the sun is low in the sky, especially if you live up North. And then, our sunset right now it's 4:15.
Elyse H: That's so true, right? Just something to catch your eye for the cars or people going by that traffic?
Jody: Yeah, yeah, yep.
Elyse H: Yes. I know, I've seen collars and leashes that have reflective tape on them or that reflective, I don't know pink or sorts-
Jody: Yeah, the guy down [inaudible] have a little bit of reflective tape on them.
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jody: But just-
Elyse H: Right? But then adding-
Jody: ... the more the merrier, Yeah.
Elyse H: Oh yeah. Oh, a whole vast. I love that idea to add.
Jody: Yeah. Well, and then, yesterday I wanted to go for a walk, and I heard the snowplows go by a couple of times, and I thought, "That's not a good time to be out there."
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jody: Because they're going through and the road is more narrow than normal, and then, if the cars slip and slide, they might not be able to stop. So, I think that, just staying home is a wise idea a lot of times if you have a choice.
Elyse H: Thanks so much for sharing. Those are great ideas, yeah.
Steve K: You know, I just wanted to get back to you on some of the outer gear. Some of the clothing that I've used in the past has been a GORE-TEX outerwear. And GORE-TEX is just something that gets put on top of the... It's like a coating that goes on top of the fabric, and it tends to breathe a little bit and it's also waterproof. I notice after a couple of years that you have to retreat it otherwise it doesn't work. And then, underneath it, I like to put like a fleece or something like that. And between the two of them that usually, will keep you pretty warm.
Elyse H: And I'll piggyback on that-
Barb: [crosstalk]. Okay.
Elyse H: Oh, have you heard of Under Armour gear? They are more skintight. Like Under Armour they have long underwear and longer turtleneck types or they have short sleeve versions too.
Barb: My grandson needed them when he was going to be playing football or something, but I didn't know what they were.
Elyse H: Yeah. So it's more tight-fitting clothing, but some of the shirts are rated for different temperatures.
Elyse H: So when you're looking for them, there is somewhere like sports and athletics where it is wick-able or wicks away when you're moving and grooving or playing sports in that. I have one that's rated for -50 degrees and it's black, so I can put it on underneath most any clothing. And it's not bunchy or puffy or anything. So then the shirt just fits nice over it, but it keeps the body heat in, especially, when you're-
Barb: Cold out.
Elyse H: Yeah. Really, really cold out or shoveling or you're going to be outside for a long time to maintain your body heat.
Barb: Okay. What kinds of gloves?
Elyse H: What kind of gloves? I have Thinsulate gloves, was really-
Steve K: I got a pair of those. Those are... Yeah, I've had [inaudible] with those too.
Elyse H: Uh-huh (affirmative). Those are my go-to and I go shoveling because they're not the prettiest, but they get the job done and keep me warm. And I know Steve you had some recreation programs. Did you want to highlight those programs in a couple of minutes?
Steve K: Yeah, I was just going to say, I think, we've been talking most about just trying to get from here to there with our Yaktrax and our STABILicers and stuff. But for anyone who's a little bit more adventuresome and really, really wants to embrace the cold and the snow, I took a look at a couple of cross country ski programs and one of them for example, is the 2020 Ski for Light, which is in Casper, Wyoming and that's February 8th to 15th. And you know what's kind of interesting about that, I don't have any experience with it, but it's for those individuals who are really kind of interested in learning a little bit more about cross country skiing and Alpine skiing as well. And it looks like you've got a week where you've got some training and you get a chance to get up on the mountain and do some skiing and that sort of thing with guides. And then, in Maine we have a whole recreational program called Maine Adaptive Sports. And their goal is really pretty much to get anybody on a pair of skis who wants to be on a pair of skis regardless of what's going on. So whether, or not you've got a mobility issue, or you're blind or something, they are going to figure out a way to get you on skis and they offer guides. I've participated a little bit in that program as a guide in the past, when I would do winter sports camp, and I think a lot of people are intimidated the very first time they go on one of these things. But I would encourage anyone who's got an interest to try something like that and Maine's not the only one. I know Vermont's got something similar to that, and I think the Ski for Light is very similar. But the guides, they will oftentimes start somebody out with a tether. So you're not going to go very far. If you fall, you fall. But there a guide that's there to assist and as you get better and better you get less and less of a restraint, if you want to call it that. And I know with Maine Adaptive Sports for example, you may start as a novice working with a guide one-on-one and using a tether just to kind of keep you close to the guide and keep you from staying within control as you go down the bunny slope. But as you progress after a while, you're going down a slope if you want to using a radio control. So you can be very, very independent. So it's pretty, pretty amazing program. And another one that I found was the American Blind Skiing Foundation, and that's based in Chicago and it looks like they too have a couple of different programs that are available. Primarily like training and a couple of guides. And I think that they go to like a mountain in Michigan, or something that's close by. And in the past, we have had someone from USABA, the United States Association of Blind Athletes. They have a winter skiing program too. One is based in Vermont and the other one is in Colorado. And just to give you a brief bit of information about them, their 2020 Vermont Winter Ski Festival is, let's see, February 7th through the 10th. So it's really kind of a weekend where you could get a little bit of training or just find out what it's about. And then, they also have the one in Colorado is February 26 through March 1st, and that one is called the 2020 Anthem Winter Sports Fest. So just to let you folks know, especially, the ones who were saying, "Oh no, we just stay inside." There are plenty of opportunities to get out and get some skis on. And Alpine skiing too, is downhill skiing. And I've never been a huge fan of downhill skiing for a wide variety of reasons. I love Nordic skiing, which is cross country skiing and that's the kind of skiing where you're actually kind of on level ground using a longer ski and there's a trail, but it's a lot like walking or jogging. So there's a lot of aerobic activity involved in that. So all of the ones that I mentioned have both the Alpine and Nordic skiing.
Jody: I did cross-country skiing years ago, and the thing that was so wonderful about it is that, after you buy the skis, basically it's free because we just go out our front door and we'd get on the old rail trail that we have in town.
Steve K: Yes.
Jody: And so, it's not as intense or stressful as downhill or as expensive as downhill. And it was just a great way to enjoy being out in nature in the wintertime and going on the trails. You don't have to worry about traffic.
Steve K: I would have to second that too, because we've got a rail trail, it's not too far from my home and some trails like literally out the backyard. And one of the things that I've liked about the Nordic cross-country skiing is that, yeah, you can just put them on when you've got some snow. It's always nice. I get spoiled, if I go to a groom trail-
Jody: Oh, yeah.
Steve K: ... you probably did too. Where somebody's created the trail? That is lovely. And I'm happy to pay a little bit of money for that. But even then-
Jody: Like it's going on a track.
Steve K: Yeah, exactly.
Elyse H: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Steve K: Exactly. It's a lot of fun.
Elyse H: I see Liz has her hand up. Can you hear us, Liz?
Liz: I sent text messages to my family members that are still up in Northern Minnesota and Wyoming and stuff, and they said Columbia brand is the best boots she's ever had. She lived in Minnesota like 45 years and they also have coats and mittens and stuff.
Elyse H: Columbia, that's another good brand too. Yeah, yeah.
Liz: She says its the best boot she ever had [crosstalk].
Elyse H: The best boots. Well that's good too, if you want to always have warm toes. Columbia-
Liz: Right. Like I said, that was Northern Minnesota. So yeah, like I said, I texted all my friends to see who was available to answer. If I knew one of them would know what [inaudible].
Elyse H: I love it. It's like phone a friend.
Steve K: Yeah.
Steve K: Phone your family. Yeah,
Jody: [crosstalk] very familiar with L.L.Bean too being from Maine.
Steve K: Yeah.
Elyse H: Yeah. And L.L.Bean.
Jody: Of course, L.L.Bean has a lifetime guarantee. If you have a problem with one of their products for [inaudible] for free.
Elyse H: Oh, yeah.
Steve K: [crosstalk] they've been great.
Elyse H: And I know they have a big catalog too, so if you don't have one near, you can usually get your hands on a catalog or call in for customer service and they can walk you through it.
Elyse H: Thanks everyone. I thank Steve and everyone else today for joining in our Get Up and Go. I hope to see you all in the new year.