Each new year brings with it a flood of resolutions—many of which revolve around the gym. And I’d be lying if I said mine didn’t. For more than a year now, I’ve been paying for a gym membership that I haven’t used once; this is both a disgustingly sad fact and an equally sad example of how damn lazy I can be when I set my mind to it. Needless to say, 2019 is my year to hit the gym. The only issue? It’s cold AF, and I need to stock up on some go-to winter workout clothes before I can possibly convince myself that trekking through frigid weather to make myself sweat for an hour is even a little bit worth it.

Are winter workout clothes even necessary? I’m so glad you asked. When your fitness clothing collection consists solely of tank tops and knee-length leggings, I’d kindly suggest it does. Because while these pieces are absolutely perfect for getting you through a treadmill workout, spin class or other workout endeavor of choice, they are absolutely imperfect for accompanying you on your 15-minute walk from apartment to gym. It’s cold out there, folks. There’s ice on the ground here in New York City, and the low on Sunday is a mere 4 degrees. (I’m not even kidding.) Throwing a longline puffer coat over your summer gym gear is not going to give your calves, arms and ankles the warm, cozy love they need.

In the spirit of making my new year fitness goals more attainable, I’m stocking up on veritably cute winter workout clothes that’ll actually make me want to hit the gym. (Anything for an excuse to wear that sweatshirt! Or those joggers! Or that ’90s-inspired windbreaker!) Because honestly, if you could do something—anything—to make your going-to-the-gym resolution easier to accomplish, wouldn’t you do it?


Twenty Pride Terry Front Tape Sweatshirt, $175 at Carbon38

Because nothing’ll make you feel like working out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day, for that matter) quite like an adorable pink sweatshirt.

The Upside Saratoga Paneled Yoga Pant, $99 at Carbon38

Ankle-length leggings are key for surviving the cold trek to and from the gym.

Nike Sportswear Archive Jacket, $64.97 at Nike

On-trend enough that you don’t even have to work out to want it.

LNA Midnightz Slub Sweater Cardigan, $88 at Carbon38

This cardigan will take you to and from the gym—and everywhere in between. (Seriously, you could probably wear it to sleep, too.)

Varley Simon Sweatshirt, $128 at Carbon38

The winter is no match for your tank top—assuming you have this sleek turtleneck sweatshirt layered over it.

Blanc Noir Amour Jogger, $119 at Carbon38

Can’t bear to part with your knee-length leggings? (I feel you.) Try layering these over them as you travel to and from the gym.

Terez Rainbow Trim Hoodie, $71 at Carbon38

Super cute—and loose enough that you won’t feel like you’re struggling to put it on when you’re all sweaty post-workout.

LNDR Supernatural Sweatshirt, $365 at Carbon38

Honestly, chic enough to wear to the office.

Sparkle Wide-Leg Pant, $45 at Carbon38

Because lives are made better by sparkle sweatpants.

The Laundry Room Muscle Beach Hoodie, $78 at Carbon38

Perfect for layering over a leotard before barre class.

Track Jacket, $90 at Adidas

Um, excuse me while I live in this?

LNDR Snug Sweatshirt, $345 at Carbon38

Warm enough to protect you from the winter cold (with a coat layered over-top, of course). Cool enough to actually wear during a workout.

LNA Brushed Fischer Cardigan, $77 at Carbon38

The easiest way to take your go-to workout outfit from season to season.

Nike Sportswear Half-Zip Crew, $80 at Nike

Logomania, done the athleisure way.

Free People Movement Mountain Dreamin Popover, $168 at Carbon38

Zip-up pullovers—especially zip-up pullovers this chicly colorblocked—are always a good idea.

Rappu Jogger, $109 at Lululemon

Honestly, my plan is to stock up on joggers. Because my legging situation is taken care of—I just need some extra warmth on my journey to the gym.

Nike Sportswear Shield Windrunner, $130 at Nike

OK, wearing this literally all the time.

P.E Nation the Terrain Sweatshirt, $200 at Carbon38

Because the more cute sweatshirts, the merrier, right?

Blanc Noir Amour Hoodie, $129 at Carbon38

An absolute classic—and a versatile one, at that.

Glossy Moto Legging, $128 at Carbon38

Yup, leather leggings are officially on the winter workout clothes menu.

Twenty Pride Terry French Terry Cropped Sweatshirt, $130 at Carbon38

TBH, this sweatshirt is probably bright enough to give you that jolt of energy you need to tackle your fitness routine.

Adidas by Stella McCartney Essentials Hoodie, $120 at Carbon38

Because sometimes pulling layers over your head is too much work, and zipping something up is preferable.

Nike Therma Sphere Element Half-Zip Running Top, $85 at Nike

Honestly, if your closet doesn’t already have a neutral pullover, you should probably consider buying one. (They’re great for travel, hiking and—obviously—winter gym wear.)

Nux One-by-One Legging, $95 at Carbon38

So soft you’ll be looking for excuses to wear them.

NB Heat Loft Funnel, $79.99 at New Balance

Basically a high-fashion take on activewear.

Women’s Athletics ID Shell Jacket, $38 at Adidas

Perfect for accompanying you on your gym mission—or, you know, accompanying you anywhere it’s chilly ever.

Alo Yoga Cropped Hoodie Sweatshirt, $76 at Carbon38

Because cropped sweatshirts are basically pointless—unless you layer them over an already fully assembled gym outfit that could use a little extra coziness.

Nike Pro Hyperwarm Tights, $75 at Carbon38

Need I justify these endlessly versatile paneled leggings?

Women’s Originals Sweatshirt, $80 at Adidas

Retro sweatshirts are great wardrobe additions—whether or not you plan on making it to the gym.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

A version of this story was originally published in November 2016.

How to Dress for Winter Exercise

There’s no debating the benefits of exercise. Whether you’re greeted by summer’s heat or winter’s chill, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day is recommended by the CDC, the Surgeon General and the American College of Sports Medicine.

The consensus from this triple threat sends a clear message—no matter the season, it’s important to get up and get moving. As the temperatures drop, you might find yourself spending more time in a brick-and-mortar gym or stuck in a cycle of at-home workouts. But cold weather shouldn’t leave you feeling trapped.

Don’t let winter freeze your outdoor workouts. Check out these tips for dressing for cold-weather exercise.

What You Need to Know

Before your take on the cold, it’s important to cover the basics. Your first step should be to check the forecast and make a plan.

Snow and frost aren’t the only things you need to be aware of—wind chill is key. A seemingly harmless gust of wind can be enough to penetrate your clothing and remove the insulating layer of warm air that surrounds your body.

When do wind chill extremes make exercising outdoors unsafe regardless of how many layers you’re under? While risk of frostbite is less than 5 percent when the air temperature is above 5 degrees Fahrenheit, it increases quickly as wind chill falls. It only takes up to 30 minutes to be exposed to frost bite if wind chill drops below -18 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperatures are less than zero degrees Fahrenheit, consider an indoor workout instead.

Back to Basics: Dressing for the Cold

Once you’ve made sure the wind chill isn’t too low, it’s time to focus on dressing smart. When it comes to outdoor winter exercise, bundling to the max is a mistake. Even in the cold, outdoor exercise will cause to sweat. Dress in a way that allows you to start off warm and remove articles of clothing as needed. These steps below will help.

Cold-Weather Hiking Tips

Wear layers: Layering is a three-part system that includes a base layer that wicks perspiration away from your skin, a mid layer that insulates you from the cold and a shell layer that keeps wind and moisture out. The goal with layering is to add and remove layers throughout your hike so you can stay warm and comfortable without overheating and getting sweaty. It can feel like a chore to stop and change clothes, but it’s really important to stay dry. Getting wet on a cold day can possibly lead to hypothermia.

Learn more in our Layering Basics article and Underwear (Base Layer): How to Choose article.

Say no to cotton: When cotton gets wet, it takes a very long time to dry, which can leave you feeling damp, cold and miserable. Synthetic and wool layers dry much faster and will move perspiration away from your skin.

Cover your skin: Any skin that is exposed to freezing temperatures and cold wind is prone to frostbite. Take special care of your nose, cheeks, ears, fingers and toes.

  • For your hands, try wearing lightweight or midweight fleece gloves under waterproof shell mittens or shell gloves. It’s also a good idea to bring an extra pair of fleece gloves that you keep stowed in your pack in case the ones you’re wearing get wet.
  • For your feet, wear synthetic or wool socks that fit well. Thicker socks provide more insulation, but make sure they don’t cause your boots to fit too tight, which can cut off circulation. It’s also important to keep your feet dry, so carrying an extra pair of socks to change into is a good idea. Wear waterproof boots if you’ll be trekking through snow, and if you’ll be in very cold temperatures you might require boots with built-in insulation.
  • For your nose and cheeks, try a neck gaiter for face mask.
  • For your ears, a winter hat or headband can do the trick. A neck gaiter or face mask may also provide coverage for your ears.

Avoid tight clothing: Wristwatch bands, cuffs of gloves, gaiters and boots that are too tight can cause poor circulation, which can increase your chance of getting frostbite. Make sure your clothing and gear fit properly.

Add heat: Hand warmer and toe warmer packets are a great way to warm up your digits, especially if you’re prone to cold fingers and toes.

Wear a hat: You can lose heat through the top of your head, so pull a winter hat on if you’re feeling chilly.

Keep snow out with gaiters: If your hike will take you through deep snow, gaiters are a must for keeping snow out of your boots. They also add a bit of warmth. Be sure to use waterproof/breathable gaiters for hiking in snow. Learn more in our Gaiters: How to Choose article.

Bring goggles or sunglasses: Always protect your eyes from the sun and wind. Many goggles and some sunglasses allow you to swap lenses in and out so you can select the right lens tint for the weather. Get some tips on buying goggles and sunglasses.

Pack a headlamp: If you’re hiking in winter, you’ll have less daylight hours, especially if you’re in the northern part of the U.S. You don’t have to end your trip when the sun goes down, but you must be prepared to hike in the dark. Have a sense for how many hours of usable daylight you have and always pack a headlamp with fresh batteries.

Keep batteries warm: Cold weather can kill batteries quickly. Lithium batteries tend to hold up better in cold temperatures than alkaline batteries, but no matter what battery type you use, it’s best if you try to keep them warm. Stowing your headlamp, GPS, cellphone and other electronics in a pocket close to your body can help.

Apply sunscreen: Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you stop worrying about sunburn. In fact, if there’s snow on the ground, the sun’s rays can reflect back up at you, so you need to be diligent about applying sunscreen on the underside of your nose and chin and around your neck. Learn more in our article about how to use sunscreen.

Bring the Ten Essentials: The Ten Essentials are a collection of items that help outdoor adventurers be prepared for emergency situations. It’s wise to take these items along whenever you head out for a hike, but perhaps even more so when exploring in cold weather where consequences of a mishap can be more severe. Learn more in our article about the Ten Essentials.

If you’re heading outdoors this winter for a walk, jog, or any other type of physical activity, your first instinct is probably to layer up—but don’t do that!

(Customize your own walking plan with Walk Your Way to Better Health and lose up to 5x more belly fat!)

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they get ready for an outdoor workout is that they overdress. When you pile on the layers and then start working out, you get sweaty. And once your workout clothing gets soaked, they can lose as much as 90% of their insulating capabilities. That’s why learning to layer your clothes properly and choosing the right gear is key.

MORE: How To Start Walking When You Have 50+ Pounds To Lose

Here, we show you how to choose clothing that will move perspiration away from your body, while trapping just the right amount of heat. You’ll also learn how to properly layer up, so you stay comfortable during all your cold-weather workouts. Scroll up to watch the how-to video, and then scroll back down for even more must-know details as well as our cold-weather product selections.

MORE: 7 Incredible Results You’ll Get From Walking 30 Minutes A Day

Step One: Choose A Wicking Base Layer


The fabric next to your skin should be snug, lightweight, and sweat-wicking. Look for tanks or undershirts made of synthetics, or acrylic, designed for this purpose. Avoid cotton, which absorbs moisture and dries slowly. On particularly cold days, layer nylon tights or leggings under your pants to insulate your legs.

Prevention Picks

Capezio Supplex 100% Nylon Legging, $38, amazon.com

Minus33 Merino Wool Lightweight Tank, starting at $32, amazon.com

Step Two: Insulate With A Cozy Middle Layer


The goal of the middle layer is to insulate, wick moisture, and provide warmth. Clothing should be made of thicker fabrics that fit loosely over your base layer to trap exercise-generated heat. Fabrics like microfleece and thermal are ideal.

Make sure you do these 5 warmup exercises before you walk:

Prevention Picks

Patagonia Women’s Better Sweater 1/4-Zip Fleece Jacket, starting at $85, amazon.com

Jockey Smart Thermal Crew Top, starting at $21, amazon.com

Port Authority Women’s Value Fleece Jacket, starting at $18, amazon.com

Step Three: Shield Yourself From The Elements With An Outer Layer

backcountry.com, smartwool.com, amazon.com

Like a protective shell, this layer shields you from wind and snow. Try a hooded nylon jacket made of Gore-Tex or something heavier made of down. As for pants, look for something loose enough to comfortably fit over leggings that will block the wind.

Don’t forget a hat and mittens! At least 40 percent of body heat can be lost through the head, and mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves. Look for wool options, which naturally wick away sweat while keeping fingers and toes toasty.

Prevention Picks

Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket, $161, backcountry.com

Merino 250 Reversible Pattern Cuffed Beanie, $30, smartwool.com

Smartwool Cozy Mitten, $32, amazon.com

MORE: 79-Year-Old Couple Secretly Trains For 5K To Surprise Family, Wins Age Group

Step Four: Keep Your Feet Warm With The Right Socks & Shoes

thenorthface.com, amazon.com

To keep your feet warm and dry, choose socks made of wool or nylon. Cotton socks will hold sweat, cause blisters and may leave you with nearly frozen feet. Pick the appropriate sneaker or boot for your sport and make sure they have traction for the often slippery and sludgy winter terrain.

Prevention Picks

Smartwool Women’s Jitterbug Crew Socks, starting at $20, amazon.com

North Face Ultra Vertical Gore-Tex, $140, thenorthface.com

Icebug Metro BUGrip Studded Traction Boot, starting at $112, amazon.com Chris Freytag Fitness expert Chris Freytag is the author of Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss and Move to Lose.

Gear Up For Winter Walking: Layer Up

Continuing on from our previous Winter Walking post, here we outline how to layer up, looking at the clothing needed to stay comfortable and prepared in all weather conditions.

The Gear

The right gear can be the difference between a miserable day out and a brilliant one, and this is where a lot of summer equipment won’t cut it. In the winter, it’s cold. It might not be freezing at the foot of the hill, but it will be much chillier at the top, so layering is key to a successful and comfortable day.

Here’s a basic clothing kit list:


Stiff, high ankle summer boots are a minimum requirement. They keep the snow at bay and give you good grip on most terrain. I did a lot of beginner winter walking in a pair of Salomon Quest 4D Hiking Boots and my colleague wore the Meindl Softline Light. Both are great walking boots and are worth considering.

Boots like the Peter Storm Scafell and Nevis ranges make good value options to keep your feet dry, but can also be used all year round. If you are buying new boots, make sure they fit, it goes without saying that a bad fit means a bad time. Any Blacks store will be happy to help ensure your boots are fitted to you, so you can worry more about getting the most out your day, rather than your feet.


Socks provide the warmth as most of the day your feet will be stood in the snow. Generally wearing 2 pairs is best; thin liner socks to wick sweat, such as Brigedale Thermal Liners, paired with a thicker 3 or 4 season sock for the warmth and cushioning. The Bridgedale Summit, Brasher Hillmaster and heavy weight Peter Storm socks are good options.


Baselayers work to keep you warm by keeping you dry, transporting perspiration away from the skin so it can evaporate. There are many good options out there, and summer layers will often be suitable.

Stay way away from cotton. Cotton absorbs moisture and takes an age to dry, look for merino wool or synthetic baselayers instead.


The most common midlayer option is a fleece. They are warm when wet and lightweight. If it is forecast to be cold, perhaps pack 2 just in case.

Outer Layer:

This is the most important layer; it keeps snow, rain, wind and everything else out, and keeps your body heat in.

You have 2 main options:

Softshell layers are warm, windproof and stretchy. On drier days they are perfect, however, this is the UK and dry days tend to be few and far between.

A good waterproof layer is a safer option. Look for things like pit zips, which provide extra breathability and ventilation, and a good wired hood. Durability is key as you’ll often be wearing it all day. The Mountain Equipment Saltoro Jacket and the Berghaus Mera Peak are both great options for winter mountain walking

Much like boots, the right fit is imperative, it is best to pop in store and try a few on, see what you prefer the fit of.

The Belay Jacket

This is a system taken from climbing. It simply involves putting a thicker, insulated jacket on over everything when you stop. It’s quite common to size the jacket up to allow for the layers underneath and can make a huge difference to your overall comfort in the hills.

Whenever you stop for a break, throw it on over the top to trap in heat, so you can eat your lunch without shivering. The thicker the jacket the warmer it is, but you have to compromise on weight and how easy it is to pack.

It is a matter of personal preference, but in my opinion they are worth their weight in gold. In a damp climate, synthetic fibres and treated downs really excel. Jackets like The North Face Thermoball, and the Berghaus Asgard are great pieces of gear, that provide exceptional, lightweight warmth.

Other Bits:

Gloves, in my opinion, can be the hardest part to get right. The SealSkinz range are great for lower down the mountain, but as you get higher, its gets colder. It is wise to pack a thicker pair for when the temperature drops. Ski style gloves like the Peter Storm Ski Glove and Trekmates Skiddaw are very warm for the cost.

If you have a tendency to get really cold hands, you can’t beat a mitt. The Mountain Equipment Mountain Mitt, is about as warm as you can get. I pack a spare pair in case it turns really cold, but I tend to really feel it.

It is highly important to keep your head warm; luckily this is super easy to do. Look for a simple beanie hat, they all do the same job, but with so many varieties available, choosing a colour and design can be tricky. Avoid bobbles, they don’t agree with hoods.

Another essential in my pack is a buff or neck gaiter, worn round the neck to keep the heat in the jacket or round the face to keep that biting wind off your cheeks. Such a simple and versatile item can make such a difference to your overall warmth and comfort.

Gear Up For Winter Walking is written by David Curtis of our Gateshead store. Keep checking the blog for more walking tips and advice from our in store experts.

SHOP Walking

Read Gear Up For Winter Walking: Accessories

What’s on your winter walking kit list? Share your thoughts and pictures below or on ourFacebook, Twitter or Instagram pages now.

The 5 Best Winter Running Pants and Tights

When I first started working in New York City, one of the first things I noticed was just how windy it was. Under such conditions, it can be slightly tricky to dress in enough layers to keep the wind out and simultaneously stay warm. It’s not uncommon for running brands to organize runs to outfit writers and editors in their latest and greatest gear when something new comes out. One of the first events like this that I attended was a run in Central Park with Sugoi. Back when the brand was making running gear, they had some toasty stuff. The fleece-lined tights were a part of my winter running kit for years — they were just tight enough (most winter tights are seemingly for super skinny runners), the fleece never washed weird and the waistband stayed put after hundreds of miles.

Unfortunately, Sugoi isn’t making as much running gear anymore, but the major point to take from all of this is that fleece-lined tights are non-negotiable when the temperatures drop below 30, even 40. My rule of thumb is to dress for 20 degrees warmer than the real feel (don’t ask where I’ve heard it, it’s runner lore at this point). With that in mind, here are a variety of the top-performing tights that you can pull on before your next outdoor winter run.

Under Armour UA ColdGear Armour Compression

Despite what you may initially think, Under Armour’s HeatGear technology is built to keep you cool and dry, while the ColdGear fabrics work to keep you warm. No matter how many degrees the temperatures drop overnight, you can pull these out of your drawer with confidence. A brushed interior means they’re smooth to the touch and soft once on. The exterior wicks away sweat to dry so you won’t freeze. Throw these on for your long run, then zip over to your kids’ soccer game, throw on some sweats, and you’ll be good to cheer from the sidelines for the entire game.

New Balance Challenge Thermal Tight

Take your long johns, make them fit like a glove and then eliminate any and all seams and you’ve found the Challenge Thermal tight. The elastic waistband is soft and easy to adjust, so you don’t have to worry about constantly pulling on the tights. Again, the brushed interior comes into to play with a few select spots of mesh paneling. We’d recommend you stick with these on the above zero days, especially with the mesh.

Nike Shield Tech Running Tights

For all of January through May (when it started warming up in New York City), I ran in a pair of Nike Shield tights and top weekly. Each piece has recently begun to make a new appearance this year, and I expect to have to update it sometime this winter. Nike’s shield technology features weather-resistant fabric (AKA snow and ice and rain-resistant) with zippers alongside your ankles so you can unzip if you heat up too quickly.

Asics Lite-Show Brushed Knit Tight

In recent years, Asics has upped the visibility in its winter running products, helping to make you seen when you head out after work for a run. These tights feature three stripes across the top of your thighs, knees and ankles to help you be noticed by motorists. A pull-tight waist cord means these will stay up long after they stretch out. You can feel confident when you head out for an early morning or evening run.

The North Face Winter Warm Tights

Highly stretchy tights are a must-have when heading out into sub-zero temperatures. You don’t want something too tight, with seams that rub the wrong way as the chill will exacerbate that problem. These are moisture-wicking as well thanks to FlashDry fibers, so they stay breathable, too. These can also double as a base layer for skiers and snowboarders as well.

The Best Winter Running Shoes of 2018

Don’t want to stop running outside, despite the cold? These seven running shoes conquer ice and snow better than any other shoe on the market. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Meg Lappe

Meg Lappe is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Coordinator, handling strategy across our digital, print, video and social teams. She can typically be found running around.

More by Meg Lappe | Follow on Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

Just making the decision to book a fitness class is admirable enough. But getting yourself there amid the snowstorms and frigid winds? Now that’s dedication! Reward yourself for braving the winter chill this year by investing in some comfy, cozy workout leggings. We promise these picks will keep you so warm, you won’t even miss your bed…as much.

1. Women’s 200 Oasis Leggings by Ice Breaker

Leggings made of 100% merino wool? Yes, please. These pants will keep you warm even on the coldest days and are still lightweight enough to not hold you back in class.
Buy now on Ice Breaker, $90

2. Women’s Winter Warm Tights by The North Face

Not only will these leggings keep you warm, but they’ll also keep you dry, too. The moisture-wicking fabric will ensure you stay nice and dry even after an extra sweaty sesh—or an unexpected snowstorm on the way there.
Buy now on The North Face, $85

3. High Rise Performance Leggings by Old Navy

Want to stay warm without breaking the bank? These leggings are high-quality but not super expensive. In other words, just what everyone needs post-holiday shopping.
Buy now on Old Navy, $32

4. ColdGear Authentic by Under Armour

All you have to do is read the name of these workout leggings to know how warm they’ll keep you. Specifically designed for training in the cold, these will be your new best friend during the winter months.
Buy now on Under Armour, $50

5. Lite-Show Winter Tight by Asics

These high-performance leggings are super soft and functional, so you don’t have to compromise your workout even when it’s freezing cold.
Buy now at Asics, $55

6. Polartec Tight by Athleta

Love to workout but hate feeling ice cold? We hear ya. Grab a pair of these Athleta leggings—the warm, sweat-wicking fabric will keep you cozy and dry.
Buy now at Athleta, $55

7. Nike Pro Warm by Nike

Perfect for layering, these workout leggings utilize brand-made fabric designed to keep you toasty in any weather condition. The sweat-wicking component is just another added incentive to get yourself to class when the temps are dropping.
Buy now on Nike, $40

8. Thermal Racer Leggings by Year of Ours

The technical thermal fabric will make you feel nice and snug—perfect for cold-weather runs, winter workouts or lounging around the house (hey, we won’t judge!)
Buy now on Year of Ours, $108

9. High Waisted Solid Heathered by Fabletics

These leggings have maximum compression, are chafe-resistant and made of quick-drying material. But most importantly, they’re super cute!
Buy now on Fabletics, $50

10. Women’s Centered Tights by Patagonia

These tights wick moisture and dry quickly to take you from the trail to the mat. They’ll keep you as warm as you’ll look!
Buy now on Patagonia, $79

What to wear to the gym in the winter?

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