The seasons are changing and average temperatures are dropping as Fall settles in across the country. Most will be reaching for gloves, hats, scarves, jackets and earmuffs to combat the chill, but for some it’s just never enough. So why are some people more sensitive to the cold while others don’t seem to be bothered? Here are three reasons why you just can’t seem to keep warm.
(source: Medical News Today: Yella Hewings-Martin PhD)
1- Body Shape and Body Mass
Your body loses heat from the surface of the skin. So the larger the body, the more surface area there is to lose heat from. While fat IS a good insulator it is only part of the equation… you can have a large body size and still get cold easily. If you have low muscle mass and a larger body size you’ll be likely to lose heat faster and feel colder, while more muscle mass in the same body size will help you retain more heat. Those with a good balance of body fat and muscle mass will retain heat best. Too much or not enough of one or the other can cause you to get cold faster.
With the fist reason in mind, it is easy to see why women often feel colder than men in the same environment. Women tend to have a higher surface area to body mass ratio while men tend to have a lower ratio due to a higher average muscle mass than women. Hormones also play a part. Testosterone is thought to decrease sensitivity to cold and men have more of this than women.
Once you age past 60 there is a difference in how your body resounds to cold environments. You lose some of the ability to conserve heat and also tend to lose fat in parts of your body most susceptible to cold (hands, feet).
The best things to do to combat the cold are to bulk up in the gym and layer up throughout the season.
For Weather Nation: Meteorologist Emily Roehler