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For Great Outdoor Exercise in Winter, Dress Right

By Tom Herrin

More than likely, none of us dresses right all of the time.  If you have ever tried to be physically active outdoors in cold temperatures, you have probably found yourself either underdressed or overdressed.  Some of the time, it seems too late to make a good change once we have made the mistake.  Correcting it may not have been possible.  If we plan well ahead of time, however, we may be able to head that off.  It is now suggested that, if we want to be physically active outdoors in the cold, we dress in layers.  And they should be the right kind.  

Inside Layers

New technology has allowed us to do some things much differently from the way they were done in the past.  It is generally believed that it is best to have tight-fitting clothing near the body.  It needs to be able to wick away moisture while still allowing air to circulate.  This is pretty important as the last thing we need in the cold is to get wet and stay that way.  This continuous air flow while removing moisture is a make-or-break part of dressing right.

The Middle Layer

Each layer has its own job, and the middle layer is acting as a sort of buffer.  It should be insulating, so it is best if it is a material that is bulky but lightweight.  This works much the same as any other kind of insulation in that it holds some air as it warms or cools.  Moisture still needs to be able to move out as air moves back and forth.  This is the layer that has the primary job of keeping us warm, and that is a key to success in the cold.

The Outer Layer

This needs to be the layer that is most easily removed.  Should you become overheated during activity, you may need to take it off.  It has several functions. Since it is the outermost layer, it needs to offer protection against the elements, that is, it should be somewhat waterproof, wind resistant, and tough enough to protect against bumps and scrapes.  Air still needs to be able to flow in and out while moisture has a way to be removed.  If you plan well and dress right, you may be able to continue our outdoor exercise program in spite of the cold.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Carmel, Ind.

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