Are you always cold? Or are you the type to still walk in a -10 degrees shirt while your partner is shivering in a thick jacket? Relative cold. How cold a person is in temperature varies from person to person. This difference leads to many discussions and disagreements in the office and at home.
Sometimes you can do more about your cold than just raising the temperature in the house and wearing thick layers of clothing. So it pays to know how your body regulates the temperature so that one person catches a cold much faster than another.
How does your body keep warm?
Before you read on why some people catch a cold faster than others, you may want to know how your body keeps warm. Or try to keep it. It all starts with the skin, hormones, brain, and outside temperature.
When it’s cold, nerves send signals about this to the hypothalamus – a part of the brain that plays an important role in temperature regulation. The brain then sends a signal to the veins, which then contract to slow the blood flow. This keeps the body warm from the inside because less heat seeps through the skin. The result is that hands and feet cool faster because the skin cools.
You have no influence over some of the factors that affect how hot or cold you are. Think about gender, age, height, and ancestry. You can partially or significantly change other factors, such as muscle and fat mass, health, stress, and some deficiencies. What are the reasons that affect feeling cold?
Poor blood circulation
Body temperature and blood flow go hand in hand. In the cold, blood vessels constrict, which reduces blood flow in the skin to prevent heat loss. consequence? Body core that cools less quickly, but hands and feet are cooler. Circulation plays a major role in many of the points below.
Small muscle mass
Muscle mass keeps you warm. The muscles that are operated generate heat. This happens during exercise, but also when nutrients are burned. Muscles burn a lot of sugars and fats, and this releases heat. If you have little muscle mass, exercise can help. Not only because of muscle growth, but also because the effort put in ensures that your metabolism (metabolism) goes faster. It also makes you feel warm.
A little fat
The fat provides an insulating layer under the skin, but produces very little heat. It just keeps your body warm. The insulating layer keeps your blood warm, so your organs stay warmer. On the other hand, the extremities get cold faster because the heat produced by the muscles does not flow properly to the extremities of the body. People with less fat have a lower quality insulating layer and therefore lose heat more quickly.
Be a woman
The stereotype is scientifically confirmed: women feel a cold faster than men. This is due to the naturally higher fat content in women. Just like 20 to 30 percent reduced muscle mass, because muscles generate heat. Then there is the hormonal problem: your period, taking birth control pills, and pregnancy affect your body temperature. Did you know that the body temperature during ovulation is about half a degree higher? Also, female circulation is somewhat slower and the female body ensures better heat storage in the heart. And this is accompanied by constant blood flow to the most important organs. The result is that blood flow to the hands and feet is less and colder.
Older people often feel the cold more quickly. This is partly because blood vessels adapt less well and body sensors respond slower. As a result, heat retention is reduced well during cold periods and the body reacts slower. Muscle mass also decreases over the years, and it is precisely these muscles that generate heat.
Being small in size
Young people have a larger surface (skin) in relation to their body size. This means that they lose more heat than taller people. So nothing you do.
Coming from a warm country
Sweat also affects how the body deals with cold (and heat). If you are originally from a warm country, the body emits heat more quickly to prevent overheating. This does not work in your favor in a cooler country. People who grew up in a cold country are naturally better developed to retain heat. So feeling cold more quickly, or feeling warm, is something in the genetics.
Not drinking enough
If you don’t drink enough water, the body has more trouble maintaining warmth. Sufficient moisture ensures that the heat is retained and released gradually. This keeps the body at a pleasant temperature. If you don’t drink enough, the body can struggle in very cold or very warm temperatures.
Do you have a fast metabolism? Then you will feel the heat more and faster. The nutrients you eat are processed at a fast pace and heat is released during combustion. People with a slow metabolism burn nutrients less quickly, so less heat is released. On the other hand, people with a fast metabolism are often less skinny and have less fat layer for insulation, so you catch a cold again faster. Every flaw has an advantage.
Slow thyroid gland
Your health has a huge impact on regulating body temperature. This also applies to the functioning of the thyroid gland. This keeps the metabolism going and is thus an indirect thermostat. When the thyroid gland is slow, food digests less quickly and blood circulation slows down. Poor digestion and slowed blood flow lead to cold hands and feet.
For you to smoke
Nicotine constricts the blood vessels, causing cold hands and feet. Not nice, not at all because smokers often have to go out to smoke.
Do you sleep a little and are you tired? In response, your body prepares for sleep. One of these preparatory actions is the acceleration of blood flow. The result is warmer skin, heat loss, and a lower core temperature. In nature, warm-blooded creatures seek a warm place at night, because in this way the body has less difficulty staying warm. For the time being, we’re crawling under a warm blanket, in order to keep more heat. You don’t (usually) do that during the day, so it’s cooler.
When you are under stress, the blood vessels in the skin constrict. So exactly the same thing happens when it’s cold. During stressful situations, blood is pumped to the important organs, so that the most important parts of the body are protected. As a result, hands and feet get cooler faster.
Lack of some nutrients
If you get cold quickly, it may be because you are deficient in certain nutrients. Think vitamin B12, iron, and protein. Vitamin B12 and iron are essential for the formation of red blood cells. These blood cells provide the transport of oxygen into the blood and a properly functioning nervous system. If parts of the body get too little oxygen, the hands and feet may get cold. Protein deficiency also affects how hot you are. A lot of heat is released during the digestion and absorption of protein-rich products. If you don’t get enough protein, there is less to burn and you can also lose muscle mass. And now you might know that muscle mass generates heat.
Read also [Gezondheid&Co] Vitamin B12 deficiency: what are its symptoms and how does such a deficiency arise?
Getting used to
If you are used to heating up, the cold environment will quickly feel colder. Your body is not used to it and reacts differently to cold. Those who go out more often or are accustomed to cooler temperatures are better able to speed up their metabolism when the body temperature drops. As your body gets used to the cold, it can also handle it better at some point. Tip: Don’t set the temperature in the home too high if it is very cold outside. For example, the transition from heat from the inside to the outside of the cold is a little less and your body just gets used to the heat inside. A great side effect is that you also save energy.
Unity and happiness
Happy people have a much warmer feeling inside. Feelings actually affect body temperature. If you are not happy or if you feel neglected, the body can respond by narrowing the blood vessels in order to maintain a good core temperature. This, again, gets you cooler hands and feet faster.
“Travel enthusiast. Alcohol lover. Friendly entrepreneur. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning writer.”