PHYSIOGNOMY: A FUNNY THING

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Advice -

You may be some­one – or know some­one – who is al­ways cold. Even in the of­fice, with the heat­ing on. Heat ef­fi­ciency varies wildly from per­son to per­son. In my res­cue team we all wear the same jacket, yet I’ve seen a search man­ager strug­gle to make de­ci­sions af­ter be­com­ing hy­pother­mic in exactly the same jacket as I was feel­ing snug in.

Re­search sug­gests that be­ing a cold per­son may be partly hered­i­tary. Some peo­ple are more finely at­tuned to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing cold, and some peo­ple have less ef­fec­tive ner­vous sys­tems to kick in and tell the body to shiver or con­strict the sur­face cap­il­lar­ies.

Phys­i­cal size is also a fac­tor. We lose heat through our skin, so larger peo­ple with a lower weight-to-skin-area ra­tio will lose heat less quickly.

But na­ture is only part of it; there’s also nur­ture. Our cosy homes and cen­tral heat­ing have made some peo­ple more prone to feel­ing the cold acutely when they step out into it.

Fi­nally, age. As we get older our cir­cu­la­tion can slow down quite a bit, mean­ing older walk­ers can strug­gle to get warm as quickly as they’d like.

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