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November 10, 2008

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Somewhere in the marriage contract, there is a directive for men that they are required to warm their wife's hands and feet when they cold. So why is it that women usually feel colder that men?

I've read somewhere that it's due to hormones, but according to an article in the London Times online, women's bodies are supposed to be more efficient at holding in heat. It has to do with that subcutaneous fat layer we have that makes us soft and huggable.

They also talk about our tropical past:
“Man is a tropical animal. We evolved on the Equator and have since migrated to all parts of the planet. The only way we've kept warm is by modifying our behaviour: we've learnt to wear clothes, build buildings, make fire."

If that's the case, then why do men feel plenty warm? Women may have a more sensitive vasoconstriction threshold. Because of our tendency to hold our core temperature in our body less blood flows to our extremities. Cold hands and feet can make a person feel cold all over.

Female perceptions of cold also vary according to menstrual cycle, mood, food and beverage consumption, etc. I know that when I drink more water and less caffeinated beverages (which are mildly diuretic), not only do I feel more energetic, I also feel warmer. Increased blood volume likely makes circulation more efficient. More blood to the extremities means more efficient heating of those body parts.


Posted by linda at November 10, 2008 11:58 PM

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