What you wear while exercising can make a big difference in how comfortable you are.
- Shoes and socks -- Always wear comfortable sneakers that support your feet. Consult an expert to find out what type of sneaker is best for you. Each person has a different foot structure that affects walking, running, and other activities. Finding the right athletic shoe can help avoid undue strain on your joints and prevent injury. Socks help cushion your feet and prevent blisters.
- Hat -- A light colored, lightweight hat will prevent your scalp from absorbing heat in warm weather and protect you from the sun. Similarly, a hat protects you from losing too much heat in cold weather.
- Tops and bottoms -- Dress for weather that is about 10 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. As you exercise, your body temperature increases. If you are wearing too many clothes, you may become uncomfortable. While exercising in colder weather, wear layers you can take off easily when you warm up and replace during your cool-down. If possible, wear clothing that removes moisture from your body.
- Warm weather caution -- Avoid prolonged exercise when the temperature outside is very hot. This is particularly true for people over age 65. If you begin to feel nauseous, light-headed, or have muscle cramps, you should stop, drink fluids, and get into a cooler place, out of the sun.
Jeffrey Heit, MD, Internist with special emphasis on preventive health, fitness and nutrition, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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