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Beat the Heat - Wear More Clothes

July 25, 2012 6:41am (EDT)

I read GPB News daily (and you should, too) and when I read this article about staying cool I immediately thought of a blog I read last month that talked about the same thing. Lance Wallace is a former journalist, blogger, and one of my favorite not-yet-published novelists. In his New South Essays last month, he documented the way southern boys know how to keep cool, add another shirt.

According to this morning’s article, he is scientifically correct, mostly. George Havenith, a professor of environmental physiology and ergonomics at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England, says that the best clothing to wear to keep cool while exercising is none at all.

Social parameters and scorching Georgia sun disagree, so we’re back to Wallace’s advice for layering up. Well, his and the Bedouin’s. These desert-dwellers drape themselves in thick, black robes, but manage not to pass out. Scientifically, it’s the same concept as the white undershirt for southern gentlemen. The heat doesn’t reach through the extra thickness. And, the added bonus of wearing breathable fabrics means that sweat can still evaporate to cool the body down.

Georgia, and much of the nation, is enduring record breaking heat. It is important to be mindful and careful as the hottest part of the year is upon us. Save polyester for the cooler fall temperatures and drink plenty of water. Our bodies need that water to make sweat, which may be gross, but it is essential to cooling down in this hot summer heat.

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