Chilling Truth: Why Winter Makes Us Freeze? - The India Saga



Chilling Truth: Why Winter Makes Us Freeze?

Winter has arrived in its entirety. This is the perfect time of year to curl up with something cozy and…

Chilling Truth: Why Winter Makes Us Freeze?

Winter has arrived in its entirety. This is the perfect time of year to curl up with something cozy and warm. Feeling chilly in the winter is normal. Nonetheless, some individuals experience extreme coldness. However, no one has ever wondered why we feel cold in winter even if we are surrounded by warm clothes. While being sensitive to the cold shouldn’t be a cause for alarm or concern, there may be an underlying medical condition that can cause persistent coldness. Temperature plays a vital role in the theory, let’s understand this concept.

7 Reasons Why Winter Makes Us Freeze

1. Heat transfer 

Everyone is constantly transferring heat to and from the surrounding environment. Heat transfer occurs from a higher temperature to a lower temperature body whenever there is a temperature differential between the two objects. As a result, until both bodies reach equilibrium, the temperature of the hotter body drops and the cooler body’s temperature drops. The greater the disparity in temperature, the greater the heat transfer and consequently, the greater the reduction in temperature of the warmer body.

To feel comfortable, the human body keeps a constant average temperature concerning the outside air temperature. The temperature outside is much lower in the winter than it is inside the human body. Because of this temperature differential, heat is transferred from the human body to the ambient environment. The result is a drop in body temperature, which is why we experience cold during the winter.

2. The body’s natural heating system 

The human body requires a core temperature that is consistently close to 37 degrees Celsius to function. The hypothalamus, a region of the brain, controls body temperature internally. The hypothalamus measures our body temperature and compares it to the average, which is approximately 37 degrees Celsius. Heat moves from an area or body with a higher temperature to one with a lower temperature when two objects have different temperatures. Our bodies have evolved complex systems to adapt to changes in environmental temperature so that we can maintain a steady internal temperature of roughly 37 degrees Celsius. 

Below 20 degrees: All other bodily reactions begin to occur when the ambient temperature falls to 20 degrees or less.

3. Muscles in your abdomen contract uncontrollably

One of the best ways for the body to produce heat is through muscle contraction. Shivering can increase heat generation by up to five times in extremely cold temperatures.

4. The rate of metabolism decreases

Energy is required for every chemical reaction that occurs in your body. The body needs to expend more energy to retain heat in colder climates. Therefore, it must lower metabolism to prevent wasting energy. However, at this point, consuming hot liquids and foods that produce heat helps your body regulate its internal temperature. 

Your body produces more urine when it’s cold outside because blood vessels constrict, raising blood pressure. The body excretes water through urination to replenish the fluid volume and thereby restore pressure.

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5. Impairment of body function

Physical and behavioral reactions become evident when the ambient temperature drops by approximately 10 degrees. The highest temperature at which one can comfortably perform physical tasks is 13 degrees. 

6. Below 10 degrees

Your touch sensitivity completely disappears at 8 degrees Celsius. Your body will respond in unison, driving all other limb responses to numbness. At this point, the core temperature can drop significantly if you don’t try to generate and maintain internal heat. Your body will run out of energy to generate heat if your core temperature drops below 32 degrees. This will cause your body temperature to continue to drop. When the temperature hits 28, your heart rate will decrease and you might even pass out. Your heart will stop beating when the core temperature reaches 20 degrees.

7. Individual Difference 

  • Ageing: Our metabolism slows down as we age. Your blood circulation is impacted by a slow metabolism, which makes you feel colder than usual. As we age, we also become more vulnerable to conditions like diabetes, thyroid, etc. As you get older, your body fat also starts to decrease. You may feel colder than usual if you have less body fat.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes has an impact on blood circulation, kidney function, and temperature sensitivity. It also has an impact on our nerves, which are connected to the bodily sensations we experience. Being overly hungry, thirsty, or urinating can all contribute to an unusually cold feeling.
  • Exhaustion: When you’re exhausted, you might feel more fatigued than other people. You could feel chilly due to either mental or physical exhaustion. The nutritionist from Bombay claims that there is a strong correlation between our body temperatures and energy levels. It’s just one of the numerous reasons you should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each day.

Winter’s chill is no match for our body’s ingenious heat-balancing act. Despite losing warmth to the environment, our internal furnace kicks in, battling the cold with shivers, goosebumps, and even a craving for hot cocoa. Understanding the physics of heat transfer and our body’s response to it helps us appreciate the complex interplay between our internal temperature and the outside world. Embracing winter’s cold can be a reminder of our body’s remarkable resilience and resourcefulness, adapting to survive even the harshest environments.