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posted: 02/15/2001

How Cold Is It Really?
Eleanor Segel

Change is in the wind for the way we measure wind chill. While wind chill attempts to calculate the extent to which wind and cold remove heat from the body, or the apparent temperature of the air against skin, the current formula is not an accurate measure of the cold. It doesn't account for weather factors such as humidity and sunshine, or a person's clothing, size, shape, age or metabolic rate-all of which can increase or decrease one's relative discomfort in the cold. So wind-chill temperatures may often portray a colder picture than what we actually feel, says James Lee of the National Weather Service.

But scientists are developing a new formula-which should be in effect by next ski season-that will factor in humidity, sunshine, shade, how much heat the body generates and what part of the exposed skin should be used as a standard. For instance, should the face or hands be considered the norm?

That's not to say that current wind-chill calculations should be ignored. As winds increase, heat is carried away from the body at a faster rate, driving both skin and internal body temperatures down. When the wind chill is below 0 degrees, the risk of frostbite to exposed skin increases.

Your best defense? Shield your skin from the wind with warm clothing, and head inside when the wind-chill advisories suggest you do so.

Fitness on the Fly
Molly Tarbet

Next time your flight gets delayed by a long layover, skip the bar and hit the gym instead. Six major airports now offer health-club facilities: Pittsburgh International and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas have fitness centers right in the terminals, while hotels located in the Boston Logan International, Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles and Miami airports offer health club access to non-guests. For around $10 a day, the clubs provide weight and cardio equipment, free weights and locker-room access. Some offer fitness classes, massage therapists and sports nutritionists, too. Didn't pack workout clothes in your carry-on? No worries: Most offer rental clothes and shoes.

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