Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

No one likes a Frozen Butt So when Franোয়াois Haman tries to employ the subjects of his study on the health benefits of uncomfortable temperatures, he gets plenty, well … cold shoulders. And he does not blame them. “You’re not going to attract too many people,” said Haman, who is studying thermal physiology at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

The human body is very bad at dealing with the cold. “I did research where people came in contact with 7 degrees Celsius [44.6 Fahrenheit], Which is not even extreme. It’s not that cold. Very few people can hold it for 24 hours, ”he said. (These items were even fully clothed: “Mits, a hat, boots and socks. And they still couldn’t keep it up.”)

People try to keep the interior space comfortable or cool by flattening the temperature variation – not shivering, and not sweating. It’s easy to reach for the space heater or shout “Alexa, warm my ass!” The moment you feel the touch of discomfort. But maybe you shouldn’t tinker so much with your thermostat. Some of the reasons for the reduction in heat are obvious: about 47 percent American homes It burns natural gas for heating, and uses 36 percent electricity, which is still available from most fossil fuels in the United States. And there may be other reasons to embrace the cold — health reasons that physiologists like Haman are beginning to unravel.

Before industrialization, Haman said, “these extremes were actually part of life.” The body copes with cold in winter and heat in summer. “You keep going back and forth. And it probably contributes to metabolic health, “he said.

Researchers know that your body reacts to cold. New fats appear, muscles change, and prolonged exposure to the cold increases your comfort level. But what all of this means for modern human health – and whether we can harness the effects of the cold to improve it – is still an open question. A vein of research is trying to understand how cold-induced changes in fat or muscle can help prevent metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Another suggests that getting comfortable in the cold is easier than you think – without the heat exploding.

To Haman, these are useful scientific questions because being frozen is one of the oldest existential threats to our bodies. “Cold, to me, [one of] The most impressive stimulus is because the cold is probably the biggest human challenge, “he said.” Although the heat is challenging, as long as I have access to water and shade, I’ll survive fairly well. The cold is the complete opposite. “

“If you’re not able to work together,” he continued, “if you don’t have the right tools, if you don’t have the right knowledge – you can’t survive. It’s that easy.” Finding out how our bodies change in response to such powerful and ancient adversaries gives clues as to how they work and how they can work better.

Haman starts every Day with a cold bath or shower. This is a rush because the cold triggers the body to secrete a hormone called catecholamine, which is involved in the fight or flight response. “I have that idea Oh my God, I feel so strong, and I’m awake“It’s my kind of coffee,” he said.

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