Cold Weather gear

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When it's really cold (around 0 degrees F), I've noticed many people doing vigorous exercise wearing a balacava or something like it around their faces (over the mouth.) Is there any physiological benefit to this? Does the warmer air due to the mouth being covered decrease mucus production? I'm curious because I like to cross country ski. My face doesn't get cold at this temperature, maybe because it is fat. Thank you.

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  • lalalacroix
    lalalacroix Posts: 834 Member
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    I usually wear a very thin buff over my mouth and sometimes my nose. When the temp really starts dropping I personally find breathing that very cold air in through my mouth pretty uncomfortable.

    I have read something about warming the air before it hits the lungs (when mouth breathing) so that it doesn't cause runner's asthma. But I'm not sure if this is correct or even really a thing. Maybe someone else has some expertise on this.
  • garystrickland357
    garystrickland357 Posts: 598 Member
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    When it’s that cold I usually wear something like you describe. That’s mostly because the wind is bad too and I’m a big weenie and don’t like being cold.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,860 Member
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    When it's really cold (around 0 degrees F), I've noticed many people doing vigorous exercise wearing a balacava or something like it around their faces (over the mouth.) Is there any physiological benefit to this? Does the warmer air due to the mouth being covered decrease mucus production? I'm curious because I like to cross country ski. My face doesn't get cold at this temperature, maybe because it is fat. Thank you.

    It's a good idea if your face is cold (not an issue for you) or suffer from cold and/or exercise-induced asthma (probably not an issue for you if you haven't noticed your aerobic capability tanking to naught followed by coughing fits when it gets colder).
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
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    One physiological benefit is preventing frostbite to the nasal passages and lungs.
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
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    it just protects my face from frostbite or getting very dry
  • littlebear0121
    littlebear0121 Posts: 1,073 Member
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    @ritzvin , thank you for your response. I don't have any type of asthma that I know of, but when it is cold like this and I ski (high intensity), I do have coughing fits. Yesterday I was coughing like mad. I did not notice my aerobic capability decrease, but have been extremely tired since I got done skiing. I normally ski an hour longer than I did yesterday, and do not experience this tiredness. This wasn't the first time I thought I might have cold-induced asthma. I will try wearing a buff next time.
  • huntersvonnegut
    huntersvonnegut Posts: 1,177 Member
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    I wear a face mask to prevent frostbite especially in the wind. When I have to, though, I can’t wear my glasses because they fog up no matter how I treat the lenses. Fortunately I’m not totally blind.