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​Layer up

​​​​​​​​​​Changing weather conditions prevail during the spring sports season. Rain will change to snow, temperatures will rise and abruptly fall, and winds will be blustery at times. How do you stay warm and dry when practicing and competing? Layer up.

Layering means that you wear a combination of clothes (in layers) that you can leave on or take off to help regulate your body temperature and keep your body warm and dry. Three layers are usually considered for colder weather.

Base layer

Your base layer clothing should be composed of fabrics that wick moisture and perspiration away from the body. Some examples are clothing made of polypropylene, silk, polyester, thermax, Thinsulate™ and wool. Try to avoid cotton garments because cotton absorbs moisture and then becomes heavy and uncomfortable.

Mid layer

Your mid layer provides insulation and aids in moisture control. Clothing made of fabrics such as down, polyester, fleece, wool and newer synthetic or natural blends are good choices for mid layering.

Outer layer

Your outer layer should offer protection against wind, water, abrasions and tears. It should allow moisture to escape. Use shells of GORE-TEX® products for positive results.

Finally, consider what you are wearing on your feet, head and hands. Make sure you are layering with appropriate shoes, socks, hat and gloves using the same base, mid and outer layer combinations and appropriate fabrics. It is more difficult to prevent socks, gloves, and hats from getting wet. Bring extras along so you can change.

Share comments or questions on this story. E-mail sports.medicine@marshfieldclinic.org​.

 

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