When we feel the first winter chill of the north wind, we head for our closets to take our sweaters and jackets out of hibernation. We find hats and scarves and gloves to get them ready for the upcoming season.
Many of us look forward to winter sports and just having fun in the snow. Others of us dread the lower temperatures. But no matter how you think of winter, we all need the proper outerwear to protect ourselves from the adverse effects of snow and ice; this includes gloves to keep our hands warm and our skin healthy during the winter.
A necessary accessory in the winter, we wear gloves to keep our hands warm and protect them from the elements. While they may prove inconvenient at times, such as when we want to use our cell phone, wearing them provides us with all sorts of benefits. And the gloves available today are a far cry from those we remember as kids.
We can buy gloves that are waterproof or water-resistant in snow and rain, warm enough to spend hours on the slopes, technologically enhanced for touchscreen use, and very stylish. But no matter how good they are, they are all aimed at protecting our hands and the delicate skin that covers them. And we must never lose sight of the fact that skin is our body’s largest organ. It is our first barrier of protection against microbes and other dangers. Let’s look into more detail why do people wear gloves on a winter day.
We lose moisture from our bodies all year long; however, during winter with typically lower humidity levels, we tend to lose it far more easily. Wind carries moisture away from the surface of the skin and strips our delicate skin of protective oils. When that happens, it has no defense against the onslaught of the elements.
The result is chapped skin. I know, that doesn’t sound very dreadful, but if your skin chaps enough, it could lead to breaks, cuts, and bleeding. This could be very painful indeed. Once you have a break in the skin, you have an opening, no matter how tiny, for microbes to invade and cause an infection.
Yes, that’s rare, but it does happen. And while the body will repair any damage done, it takes time and effort. Prevention is so much easier.
You can easily prevent this from happening by using a moisturizer every day, perhaps more than once a day if you’re spending lots of time outside. The second important thing you can do for yourself is wear a good, warm, pair of gloves when you venture outside. Gloves keep warmth and moisture trapped inside, greatly reduce moisture loss, and conserve the delicate oils in your skin.
Keeping moisture and oils where they belong will prevent chapping, drying, and bleeding.
Granted, gloves will keep your hands warm, especially some of the newly developed gloves designed for skiers. But you can also choose mittens. So which ones will keep your hands warmer?
Many of us have fond memories of wearing mittens as children. After all, it takes a certain amount of dexterity to guide all 10 fingers into the proper resting places, so for very young children, mittens work very well. But as we got older, we “graduated” to gloves. As older children and adults, we may have outdoor chores to accomplish, and gloves allow you a certain amount of flexibility when driving or performing other tasks in the cold. But which gives you better protection against the elements?
Experts, such as Bret Smith, a 30-year manager of Alpine Ski Center in West Knoxville, TN says that mittens do a better job of keeping our hands warm. Since all the fingers are together in the same little pocket, they share warmth and moisture with each other. That warmth and moisture gets trapped by the mitten, thus protecting your skin and keeping you warm.
Whether you opt for gloves or mittens depends on what you need to do in the great outdoors, and how long you plan to stay there. If you plan to be out in extreme winter weather, you might consider purchasing gloves or mittens rated for such conditions. They are relatively inexpensive, with most running at or below $20 a pair and some can protect you from the cold at even sub-zero temperatures.
Though designed for skiers and snowboarders who spend hours out in the snow, you don’t have be an athlete to use them. Just think how effective these gloves could be for everyday use in winter weather.
They come in a variety of sizes for men, women and children, and some are also available in bright colors. And don’t draw the line at gloves. You can also purchase this same warm technology in mittens to keep your digits warm.
These gloves and mittens are made of water-resistant materials with state-of-the-art insulation, and some have other pluses designed into them such as zippered pockets and special materials to allow you to use a touchscreen with your gloves on.
If you really must stay connected through your cell phone or other devices with a touchscreen, don’t give up on gloves. You can buy them with touch compatibility. They will allow you to operate your electronic device without removing your gloves.
Since your touchscreen reacts to the small current of electricity transmitted through your skin, traditional gloves will not work because they block that tiny current. However, these gloves are made with conductive materials that allow that current to pass from your body to the screen. So now you can take pictures, make calls, and stay connected without having to expose your hands to the bite of winter.
In the winter when that cold north wind blows, reach for coats, scarves and hats, but don’t forget gloves and mittens. Yes, they will keep you warm, but they will also keep you protected from the cold and wind. Just as we protect other parts of our body in the interest of health and safety, don’t forget about your hands.