When the temperature drops, wearing the right clothing when you head out into the elements can ease the ache in your joints. “The best way to beat the chill is by wearing layers,” says Heidi V. Freeman, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Layering lightweight fabrics can keep you toasty with less bulk. Here’s how.
Begin With the Base
A wicking layer comes first. Instead of cotton, which holds moisture, opt for long underwear made of silk or a polyester or nylon blend.
Your second layer should provide warmth. Wear a fleece or lightweight down jacket or a wool sweater.
Block the Elements
For rain or snow, a hard-shell jacket (a waterproof, windproof, breathable layer), such as one made with Gore-Tex, is best. For less severe weather, wear a soft-shell jacket (a flexible, water-repellant layer), such as one made with polyester or water-repellant down.
Protect Your Neck
A scarf, balaclava or neck gaiter can shield your neck and face.
Top It Off
You lose up to 10 percent of body heat through your head, so wear a wind-blocking wool or fleece beanie.
Waterproof, insulated gloves made with Gore-Tex or water-resistant fabric should have a slight bend, which relieves pressure on hands when gripping. Gloves are rated by temperature, so choose a pair that matches your climate.
Skip the Jeans
Opt for quick-drying pants made from wool, wool-synthetic blends or a water-resistant treated fabric such as polyester. For chillier climates, choose fleece- or flannel-insulated pants.
Keep Toes Toasty
Avoid overly heavy socks that lead to tight-fitting shoes; a little room for warm air helps insulate. Wool or a wool-blend socks, such as those with nylon or Lycra, provide cushioning and flexibility and keep feet dry.
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