Keeping warm

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I was invited to go on the Today programme on the radio some years ago to talk about keeping warm in winter in the UK. I think they were expecting me to talk about wearing down jackets but I didn’t (and they didn’t use it either).
What I did say was that there were three rules to keeping warm when outdoors in the UK, in this order:
1. Keep active
2. Protect yourself from the wind
3. Wear insulated clothing under a windproof layer
The reality of keeping warm and the experience of it is complicated.
· Women, according to research by the US Army feel the cold 5 degrees more than men, though in fact women are (generally) better insulated
· Heat loss varies in different areas of the body – if you are not being very active you need insulation on your thighs for instance and those of us who are follically challenged know the importance of keeping your head warm
· Changes in temperature are very important in perception – go out at 0 degrees and you will feel cold, touch something metal and you will feel freezing
· Humidity is fundamental as well. We don’t need science to tell us that in the UK
It’s really not difficult to keep warm in the UK- in the mountains it’s different but here……..

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