One of the things I love about having a business named Healthy Numbers is that I can include all kinds of interesting information in my Health Check Tuesday segment and it still relates to Healthy Numbers. The first Tuesday of each month I try to pay attention to a Healthy Number relating to our personal health. This week is a doozy!
I was at my regular yoga class recently and our instructor, Thy gave us a Fabulous strategy to warm ourselves; slap our skin. She had us hold out our arm and slap all the way up and down, the same for our legs. And It Works; I was feeling warm instantly.
The reason it works because the heat in our bodies is kept close to our core and often our skin can feel cold. When we slap the skin it forces blood circulation close to the skin and we feel warmer.
Research has shown that women have a lower average skin temperature because women have more skin surface as a ratio to their body volume.
To stop heat loss through surface area women’s bodies reduce flow of blood to the skin leading to a lower skin temperature – so when we slap the skin the blood returns to the surface and we feel warmer. When the outside temperature drops even a small amount women’s skin senses start feeling the cold.
In addition, women’s bodies are more efficient at moving warm blood away from extremities to protect internal organs – which is why women often feel they have cold hands and feet, as much as 3 degrees colder than a man in the same environment.
Interestingly, extra layers of fat actually insulates skin from our warm core, creating the sensation of coldness and this helps explains why larger people tend to feel the cold more.
Some fast facts, did you know that:
Women’s hands and feet can be 3 degrees cooler than men in the same environment.
Women need to get much hotter than men before they start to sweat? i.e. men sweat at a lower temperature.
Your body is at it’s lowest temperature a couple of hours before we wake up in the morning?
Human temperature used to be measured by putting the thermometer under the armpit or under the tongue – now temperature is taken in the ear?