Importance of the Proper Winter Work Gear
Winter is here and it’s going to be around for a while. What does that mean for us? Well, we’re going to suit up and acquire the necessary clothing to endure the cold weather conditions of winter. This is especially important for those who will spend most of their time outside. Whether it’s hiking through snowy trails or working outside like our hard-working construction workers, our heroic front-line workers, and who can forget about our equally hard-working farmers.
If you think you can wear your summer clothes through winter to save yourself some money, you may want to reconsider your choices. Hot weather conditions typically call for thin & breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, rayon, and denim. As you may guessed, winter calls for thicker materials that are meant to insulate heat rather than release it. These winter fabrics include material such as wool, nylon, and flannel.
Other than being cold, what else happens if you’re not wearing the proper gear?
If you think you can muscle through winter wearing your T-Shirt & shorts, you may want to think again. Of course, that largely depends on which region of the planet you reside in. Now if you’re in an area where the temperature is below freezing all winter long, you REALLY need to think again! Here’s why:
It’s very likely that we’ve all heard of the medical emergency known as hypothermia. This happens when our bodies lose heat faster than it can produce it, the effect typically takes place after prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Symptoms include:
- Shallow Breathing
- Confusion / Memory Loss
- Weak Pulse
- Slurred Speech
In severe cases a person may even become unconscious. Hypothermia is considered to be a medical emergency because it is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Frostbite is another negative effect caused by prolonged exposure to cold weather, frostbite however effects your skin.
- Cold & Prickling feeling
- Skin discoloration
- Hard / Skin with the appearance of a wax-like texture
- Joint & Muscle Stiffness
- Blistering after rewarming
In extreme cases the affected area of skin will be very hard and cold to the touch. Additionally, the affected area will begin to darken and can eventually turn black if not treated immediately.
Hopefully by now you’ve started to re-consider wearing a t-shirt and shorts through the cold weather of winter. If you haven’t, well, there is one more health complication to consider that comes without wearing the proper winter gear.
The problems revolving around the heart is something new to me that I only discovered during my research for this article. What I found is that in cold weather you have an increased risk of a heart attack if you’re not wearing the proper equipment. The reason for this is because people can experience *vasoconstriction*.
Vasoconstriction happens when the muscles around your blood vessels tighten, essentially shrinking your blood vessels, essentially decreasing the blood flow to your heart. In turn, your heart must work harder to sustain the blood-flow required. Thus, increasing your chances of a heart attack.
Perhaps you’re one of the few who still aren’t convinced that you should be wearing the proper winter gear. We’ve gone through the health risks, but now it’s time we talk about your decreased performance! After reviewing the health risks, it’s to no surprise as to how and why cold weather would decrease your overall performance. More specifically, when discussing Heart Problems.
Increased Fatigue / Decreased Stamina
As we discovered, cold weather can cause people to experience vasoconstriction. Because your heart will be working harder to push and pull adequate blood flow, you will experience increased fatigue. It’s one thing to experience fatigue during a workout, but an entirely different experience all-together when you experienced Increased Fatigue while on the job. The jobs of skilled laborers and law enforcement are difficult enough as it is, increased fatigue is something these individuals do not need. Why would you willingly make your job more difficult when there is a clear solution? If you haven’t already put it together, the clear solution is wearing the proper winter gear.
Slower Reaction Times
There are some jobs out there where your reaction time is more important than others. One position is that of a law-enforcement officer. It’s easy to figure out why it is essential for a law-enforcement officer to have as close as possible to immediate reaction times. Officers are very frequently on the frontlines in harm’s way, and it is essential that they are prepared for any situation. We’ve reviewed the effects cold weather has on our heart, what we haven’t reviewed is the effects cold weather has on or nerves. Our nerves operate in a series of complex chemical reactions and are easily susceptible to cold weather. The lower the temperature the slower these chemical reactions take place, and in turn, the slower our reaction times.
Winter Gear Is Too Expensive
Yes, it is true that the proper winter wear can be expensive. Especially considering the fact that thicker and heavier material is used for the production of the proper winter wear. However, can one truly put a price on his or her own health? Afterall, if you’ve made it this far, you’re likely to be one of the hard-working individuals who work through the cold of winter. If that, is you, then think about what would happen if your health were negatively impacted because of a decision made to avoid purchasing the proper apparel for the season? Would you need to take time off to recover? Would you need to pay additional fees to a medical practitioner? The point is, the impact made from choosing to avoid paying the price for the right winter gear can likely be far worse than if you were to purchase the proper equipment in the first place.
You can choose to purchase your winter wear from Crescent Supply or any other retailer. The where doesn’t really matter. What really matters is your health and wellbeing so that you can stay at peak performance without being slowed down by the cold weather.