Cold water can be refreshing on a hot summer day, but it can also be treacherous and uncomfortable when you’re trying to stay warm. Whether you’re swimming, surfing, or boating, you might be wondering if there’s a way to keep your body warmer in cold water. Some people believe that coating their skin with petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, can help. But is it true? Does Vaseline really keep you warm in cold water?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of using Vaseline in cold water. We’ll also discuss how athletes like NFL players and soccer players keep warm during their games in chilly weather.
Does Vaseline Protect Your Skin from Cold Temperatures?
Before we dive into whether Vaseline can keep you warm in cold water, let’s first talk about how it can protect your skin. When your skin is exposed to cold temperatures, it can become dry and chapped, leading to discomfort and even pain. Applying a layer of Vaseline to your skin before cold exposure can help trap some moisture and prevent it from drying out. However, note that this is not a perfect solution and needs to be reapplied regularly. Most importantly, this doesn’t mean that Vaseline will keep you warm in cold water, but it can protect your skin from the harsh elements.
How Do Athletes Stay Warm in Cold Weather?
Now, let’s talk about athletes and how they cope with cold weather during their games. Football and soccer are two sports that often require players to play in cold temperatures. Here are some tips that athletes use to stay warm:
- Dress in layers: wearing layers can trap body heat and keep you warmer.
- Stay active: moving around can keep blood flowing and help you stay warm.
- Wear thermal gear: Athletes often wear thermal gear like compression pants and long-sleeved shirts to keep them warm.
- Stay hydrated: drinking warm fluids can help regulate body temperature.
But what about when layering up isn’t enough? This is where Vaseline comes in for some athletes.
Why Do Football Players Put Vaseline on Their Shirts?
Have you ever noticed that during a football game, some players have Vaseline on their arms and chest? They do this to keep their bodies warmer and protect their skin. Football games can be very physical, and players can get tackled and pushed around, resulting in chafing, burns, and scrapes. Vaseline can help reduce friction and prevent skin damage.
Does Vaseline Keep You Warm in Water?
So, back to the original question – can Vaseline keep you warm in cold water? The answer is NO. Vaseline acts as a barrier, helping to seal in moisture on your skin and prevent it from drying out. In cold water, Vaseline will not keep you warm, and it will not prevent hypothermia.
In fact, for prolonged exposure to cold water, applying Vaseline can be counterproductive and dangerous. Vaseline is not water-soluble, and it can trap cold water against your skin, which will lead to heat loss, resulting in hypothermia and frostbite.
How Do You Keep Your Body Warm in Cold Water?
So, if Vaseline is not the solution to keeping you warm in cold water, what should you do? Here are some tips to keep you warm:
- Wear appropriate gear: wetsuits or drysuits are designed to trap a layer of water between your skin and the suit, which is then warmed by your body heat.
- Keep moving: similar to athletes on the field, moving around can help keep you warmer by stimulating blood flow.
- Know your limits: the colder the water, the shorter your invincibility window. If you start feeling too cold, come out of the water and warm up.
Does Vaseline Keep Your Hands Warm?
Since Vaseline acts as a barrier and can help lock in moisture, it can be useful to apply it to your hands before putting on gloves. This can create a barrier between your skin and gloves, helping to keep your hands warmer. However, note that it won’t keep your hands warm on its own and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for appropriate cold weather gear.
In summary, Vaseline can protect your skin from chapping and drying in cold temperatures, but it won’t keep you warm in cold water or prevent hypothermia. Applying Vaseline can be useful for football players to reduce friction and prevent chafing, but it’s not a solution to keeping warm.
The best way to stay warm in cold water is to wear appropriate gear, keep moving, and know your limits. Plus, it’s always a good idea to stay hydrated and remember to take frequent breaks.