Posted on Mar 26, 2021 177
The face is the part of the body that stays open even during the harsh winter months.
Why doesn’t it freeze? How do chills arise, and what causes differences in how different people perceive the cold?
How does our body produce heat?
The body’s heat supply process is called chemical thermoregulation. This work is done by all the cells of our body and every internal organ under the responsive guidance of the hypothalamus, a small section of the brain.
Heat is released during metabolism, when cells “burn” nutrients - proteins, fats, carbohydrates, received by the body with food. With the blood flow, heat energy is distributed throughout the body, maintaining an optimal temperature level.
Some tissues produce more heat, some less. The most intense sources are the liver and muscles.
The liver heats through constant biochemical reactions - bile production, blood filtration, conversion of organic compounds into glucose, etc.
Muscles is the chief instrument of chemical thermoregulation. Even at rest, they produce up to 20% of the heat needed by the body. Light exercise increases heat production by 50-80%, and heavy physical work increases it by up to 500%!
Why do we feel cold?
Thermoreceptors handle the feeling of cold. They are sensitive areas that can sense the temperature of the environment and transmit information to the hypothalamus via nerve endings.
Upon receiving a signal about hypothermia, hypothalamus “turns on” the mode of trembling - chaotic contraction of muscles, increases heart rate, which more actively disperses hot blood around the body and, if things are terrible, narrows the blood vessels in the extremities so as not to waste the deficit energy on them. This is how the familiar feeling of chills arises.
Why are some people hot, while others may be cold at the same time?
According to heat loss, all people can be divided into three groups. Asthenics - people with a lean body structure, normosthenic - athletes and hypersthenic - people with a lot of subcutaneous fatty tissue and muscles.
Asthenics are the most sensitive to cold. This is because of a small amount of muscle.
Hypersthenic are the least sensitive to cold. Fatty tissue provides additional insulation to the body.
In addition, the feeling of cold is a matter of habit. If the body is used to room temperature, it adapts to it, and its resistance to frost falls. People who are outdoors more often get used to the cold.
Why doesn’t the face freeze like other parts of the body?
In fact, it freezes. In freezing temperatures, the nose, cheeks, and ears freeze instantly.
However, the face’s frost resistance is very high indeed.
This is because of the large number of blood vessels, surface veins and capillaries.
Our circulatory system is structured in such a way that a large volume of blood flows through the face and neck to the brain, the department of the body that is heated first. It is the most blood supplied organ.
Other parts of the body don’t have as many vessels, which means they get less heat.