Introduction

When conducting outdoor, and indoor, fitness sessions it is important to ensure that clients are adequately prepared not only mentally and physically for exercise, but also regarding clothing.

Adverse weather conditions, whether hot or cold, can impact on an individual’s ability to exercise, potentially resulting in avoidable harm or injury. As such it is important for outdoor training providers to provide their clients and instructors with some basic information and tips regarding appropriate and suitable clothing for outdoor-based fitness.

Although some training providers will have access to indoor facilities during the darker and inclement periods, many do not. Therefore, it is recommended for individuals to be prepared for all weather conditions, particularly during the winter months. As such, clients and training providers should find the following guidance useful.

Instructor Kit List Guidance

  1. Clothing: all training providers issue their instructors with branded clothing.
    1. However, it is important to ensure that issued clothing is appropriate for the weather conditions.
    2. Therefore, instructors should be issued with a range of short- and long-sleeved tops and at least one, water-proof, jacket.
  2. Footwear: it is important that instructors wear appropriate and quality-made footwear.
  3. Headwear: as approximately 70% of body heat can be lost via the head, it may be appropriate to wear a hat during colder periods.
  4. Instructor Personal Lighting: ideally instructors should have three lights:
    1. A red light on the back of their day-sack;
    2. A white light on the front of their day-sack; and
    3. A handheld white light for exercise demonstration purposes and direction finding (i.e. moving from one area to another).
  5. Exercise Lighting: it may also be prudent to utilise lighting for exercise illumination, i.e. marker cones with internal lighting or cyalume sticks (or similar).
  6. Day-sack: ideally all instructors should carry a day-sack with the following equipment:
    1. First aid kit (ensure contents are in-date);
    2. Water: at least three, 750ml-1000ml, bottles (may require more during warmer periods).
    3. Lesson plan (or in pocket);
    4. Marker cones (at least six);
    5. Spare bibs (if training provider uses them);
    6. Mobile phone (for emergencies); and
    7. Accident and emergency procedure forms.
  7. Towel: can be useful for drying off after a session.
  8. Post-session Top: Either a short- or long-sleeved top to replace your wet/damp one or a coat/jacket to go over the top of your wet/damp clothing.

Client Kit List Guidance

  1. Clothing Layer System:
    1. Wear your clothing in a layer system which can be easily put on or taken off, as appropriate, during the warm-up, main theme and/or cool-down.
    2. Spring/Summer Periods: shorts and t-shirt will probably be sufficient for the session but carry a spare set of long bottoms and long-sleeved top just in case.
    3. Autumn/Winter Periods: long bottoms and tops will probably be more suitable due to the likelihood of inclement weather and reduce the risk of exposure.
  2. Footwear: it is important that clients wear appropriate and quality-made footwear.
    1. As military-style fitness is, typically, a hybrid of training techniques, it may be appropriate to wear cross training shoes rather than ‘pure’ running shoes.
    2. ‘Appropriate’ will be based on individual tastes and requirements, and linked to the type of training delivered.
  3. Weather-proof Top: an outer garment for wind/rain shelter that can easily be tucked away when not required.
  4. Gloves: Clients may find it appropriate to wear gloves during training as sessions include ‘getting down and dirty’ on various hard and soft standings.
  5. Headwear: As approximately 70% of body heat can be lost via the head, it may be appropriate to wear a hat during colder periods.
  6. Water Bottle: a water bottle is not normally required as most training providers ensure their instructors carry ‘squirty-top’ water bottles in their day-sacks.
    1. However, if an individual has a transmissible illness (i.e. a cold), it is recommended they bring their own water bottle for personal use.
  7. Client Personal Lighting: during the darker periods it may be prudent to wear personal lighting to ensure other clients and park users know where you are!
  8. Medical Devices: for example asthma inhalers, should be held by the individual.
    1. This ensures that inhalers do not get mixed up.
    2. As part of the pre-session principles the instructor should identify those individuals with medical devices.
  9. Towel: can be useful for drying off after a session.
  10. Post-session Top: Either a short- or long-sleeved top to replace your wet/damp one or a coat/jacket to go over the top of you wet/damp clothing. Ideally individuals will want to remove wet/damp clothing as soon as possible to reduce exposure and cold weather effects.
  11. Day-sack or Bag: Useful for containing the above items.
  12. Car Seat Cover: If an individual does not want to bring spare clothing it may be appropriate to have a car seat cover in order to reduce contamination from dirt/debris ‘accumulated’ during the session.
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