Benefits of Thermal Clothing
When the temperature drops outside, so does our activity levels. I notice this all throughout our neighborhood. All the kids and families disappear during the winter months. We may have a few warm days sprinkled into these cold months, but for the most part everyone is in hibernation mode. For those of us who enjoy being outside regardless of the weather, you can still enjoy the outside in thermal clothing. Thermal underwear is a comfortable, breathable material designed to be a base layer for your clothes. It can also be called long underwear or long johns. Thermal underwear is typically thin and stretchy resembling leggings, but is an even more important accessory to utilize instead of thicker layered clothes.
Thermal underwear has many positive aspects. They keep you warm, protect you from cold weather, moisture wicking, help maintain body temperature and maintain the body core temperature more efficiently. The fit of your thermals should be a very tight, snug fit that can be worn under other clothes and should almost feel like a second skin. You should be able to maintain core temperatures better with much less clothing when adding in thermal underwear as your base clothes. If you work in a warehouse or assembly lines, thermal underwear can allow you to stay warm without all the bulky clothes. Thermal underwear have a great capacity to keep you dry if you have the right material. Not all thermals are the same. Synthetic materials, cotton, wool, polyester and merino wool are all options if you start to shop for thermals.
Cotton is a good source of material for thermals in specific situations. If you work inside and it is not too cold, cotton may be perfect for you. If going out to a coffee shop to grab a drink or walking around shopping for a shorter period of time, cotton can be good as a base layer. If you are going to be outside, pick another material. If you tend to sweat, cotton will not be good for you. The material is not good for wicking away sweat or water and can absorb up to 20 times its weight in water. This extra sweat or water will take forever to dry because cotton does not dry fast. Cotton fibers have many tiny air pockets that will insulate but the moment it becomes wet, it loses all its thermal properties and just becomes cold.
Merino Wool is a great source of material for a base layer of thermals. Merino wool is a natural fiber that originates from merino sheep. It is not itchy like regular wool and is softer and smoother than synthetic fibers. It insulates better and dries quickly. It is odor resistant. It is great for use if you are outdoors and you can feel dry even when wet. The downside to merino wool is the price and durability. It costs much more than the other thermal materials and will not last as long.
Synthetic fibers are another great option for thermals. Synthetic materials tend to have the best moisture wicking properties. The material is hydrophobic, so it tends to absorb moisture more than the others. Even though it absorbs more, it will tend to feel more wet than the merino wool when damp. Synthetic typically dries faster than merino wool so if you are doing activities where you would normally sweat for a long period of time, the synthetic fibers may be a better choice. Synthetics are not odor resistant so manufacturers typically add in an odor resistant layer but this is lost after several wash cycles. Merino and synthetics are both good options and you could try both and see which suites your situation better.
If you love the outdoors or just love being warm, adding in a thermal base layer is a must. The health benefits of being able to do what you enjoy outside are limitless. There are so many options available. You should be able to find something that fits your budget.
This article is written by Aaron Workman, DC, one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.
Have you been in a car accident? If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.
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