When it's cold outside, we all prefer staying indoors where it's warm and cozy. But what should we wear when we have to venture out? Find out here how to dress appropriately in winter and learn some tips to stay warm.
What are the body parts that need the most protection from winter cold?
To determine the necessary protection and the most suitable clothing, it is helpful to understand how our body reacts to cold temperatures. In order to protect important bodily functions, more energy is needed, particularly in the skin, extremities, head, and respiratory system. The skin's blood vessels constrict to keep the body warm, which puts more strain on the heart to maintain blood flow and oxygen supply. Additionally, cold temperatures reduce or completely stop the production of sebum, the skin's natural protective barrier. Appropriate clothing helps prevent heat loss and keeps the skin warm. The extremities, such as the hands, feet, arms, and legs, have a larger surface area of skin and a dense network of blood vessels. Due to their distance from the heart, these areas receive less blood flow in cold conditions, causing them to cool down more quickly. Wearing warm socks, shoes, and gloves can help to keep these areas insulated. The head is another area where body heat can be lost, as it contains important organs and has a relatively thin layer of skin. We are generally more sensitive to temperature changes in this area. Wearing a hat, ear muffs, hood, scarf, or headband can help to keep the head warm. In winter, breathing in cold air outside can irritate the bronchial tubes and put more strain on the lungs. Indoor heating can also dry out the nasal passages and respiratory system, making them more susceptible to pathogens. Wearing a scarf or pulling up the collar can help to warm the air before breathing it in.
Mastering the Layering Technique
The layering technique, known as the onion principle, is highly effective for staying warm during winter. By wearing multiple thin layers of clothing, you can provide optimal insulation. This allows you to easily adjust your outfit according to the current conditions. Each layer serves a specific purpose in keeping you warm.
The first layer, which is in direct contact with the skin, is crucial. It is important that the materials used are breathable and can wick moisture away from the body. For optimal moisture transfer, this layer should be as close to the body as possible. Cotton is not as suitable for this purpose. Instead, various functional textiles made of synthetic fibers or wool can offer their advantages.
The Thermal Layer
The next layer's mission is to protect your body from the cold. Materials with small air chambers trap your body's natural heat and act as an insulating cushion. A knitted wool sweater or a fleece jacket work well for this purpose. For those who need extra warmth, it's possible to wear multiple layers for the thermal layer. Additionally, a heated vest can be worn to maximize the chances of staying warm. A heated vest functions like a heater and provides a temperature of up to 65 degrees at maximum power to the body. This is very useful when facing cold temperatures for many hours.
The Top Layer
The outer layer protects you from direct weather conditions such as wind or external moisture. Some jackets are also lined, for example with down or polyester padding, providing additional warmth. If the inner layers already provide enough warmth, a thin jacket is usually sufficient as an outer layer. A generous fit allows for an additional layer of air to be created, in which body heat can be stored. It is important to use breathable materials so that moisture can be effectively transported away. Otherwise, you risk getting cold quickly if you wear damp clothing. Image source: pexels.com.