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Here's how to keep warm on the ski slopes

My mother-in-law says she would probably love skiing if she could do it when it was 80 degrees, preferably in Hawaii. Some people just don't like the cold. And nobody likes to feel cold.

Fortunately, skiers don't have to. And when they are well prepared, they can comfortably withstand very severe temperatures. Here are some basic guidelines and specific tips towards staying warm, no matter what the thermometer says.

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Dress in layers and think dry. That means wool garments, like socks and thermal underwear. Reason: they absorb perspiration or tend to move it away from your body. Evaporating moisture rapidly depletes the body of heat. For that reason also ventilate yourself by opening outer garments or stripping a parka or sweater as you warm up and before you start to perspire. When you begin to cool off, bundle up. A torso kept dry and warm can send heat to extremities like hands and feet.

Mittens generally will keep hands warmer than gloves on very cold days. However, the new space-age aluminated glove liners will conserve a lot of heat, and they're quite thin. A hat will keep a lot of body heat from escaping; conversely, taking it off before you start to sweat will allow a more even body temperature and help to avoid chilling later on.

Besides eating well before you take on the elements, do some warm-up exercises.

If the wind chill factor is harsh, greasing exposed skin will provide protection. Some new creams actually are designed to insulate. In clothing, however, it's the thickness of the insulation that provides warmth. Clothing that's too tight, on the other hand, makes one cold by restricting circulation.


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