What to wear when working out

When working out -- whether you are lifting weights in your own home gym, tumbling over a football during a game of scrimmage, or briskly walking around your neighbourhood -- you need to dress to stay comfortable. Layering your clothing is the best way to achieve this.

Layered clothing acts as protection against the sun, the rain, the heat and the cold and can be easily added or removed. Your comfort level affects your strength, reflexes, and judgment. The goal is to arrange a combination to control heat and prevent discomfort. For the best protection, choose fabric that is durable, windproof, breathable, and waterproof.

The first layer, or base layer, is worn next to the skin such as tights, long-sleeves and turtlenecks. This layer should be made of non-absorbent synthetic fibres such as polyester or silk. These fabrics protect, are breathable, and help wick moisture away from the skin. This is the first layer you put on and the last layer you take off so be sure that you choose a fabric comfortable for you.

The next layer is to be worn over the first and depends on the level of activity. You can wear a long-sleeved pullover or vest and choose from a variety of insulating fibres and fabrics such as polyester fleece or wool. Choose a zippered vest or pullover to help regulate your body temperature.

The top layer, or outerwear, should be waterproof to protect the other layers from gathering moisture and windproof to prevent heat loss. This layer is meant to protect against any changing weather conditions when outdoors and feature venting with mesh linings or zippers that open under the arms.

Keep in mind your entire outfit, including headgear, hand protection, socks and shoes. A hat with a large brim protects your head from sun damage and retains heat in colder weather. Insulated gloves or mittens will protect your hands. Socks should be wool/nylon blends, to wick moisture away from the foot, therefore keeping your foot drier and warmer. And waterproof your shoes if your intended activity takes you outdoors.

Layering is important regardless of the type of activity. Comfort in your activity means being prepared and dressing for success!

Blessings on the road to health!

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