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Exercise

Make a Fashion Statement — Dress Properly When Exercising Outdoors


The frigid temperatures can make outdoor exercise even more of a challenge. However, dressing appropriately when working out in cold weather can help prevent such injuries as overheating and hypothermia. Dressing in three layers of clothing made of appropriate material can keep you dry, insulated and protected against these elements.

“Dressing warmly is key when working out in cold weather,” said Lori Gerzina, an environmental protection specialist of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Consumer Protection Division. “Keeping our hearts strong and healthy and our bodies in shape year-round is very important and commendable. However, venturing out with a T-shirt and sweats on cold days is not wise and a good way to get hypothermia.”

According to Gerzina, symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, numbness, fatigue, poor coordination, slurred speech, blueness or puffiness of the skin, and disorientation. These conditions can be life-threatening when coupled with wind chill.

Gerzina advises wearing three layers when dressing for winter exercise or outdoor play.

“The first layer should be clothing made from synthetic material that moves perspiration away from the skin, such as polypropylene. Avoid cotton, which can trap moisture,” she said. “The second layer should insulate the individual from the cold — fleece, wool or down are good choices.

“The third layer should protect against wind, rain and snow. Look for water-resistant fabrics, zippered vents and mesh panels that will allow the body to breathe,” Gerzina continued. “Jackets or pants made from semi-porous fabrics are good choices. And, wear good gloves and a hat. A significant amount of our body’s heat escapes from our heads.”


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