Thermoregulation - our bodies temperature regulation system

Andy Derijk

The human body regulates its internal temperature to maintain a state of equilibrium at 37.8°C. If your internal temperature drops or rises outside of the normal range, your body will take steps to adjust it. This process is known as thermoregulation. All thermoregulation mechanisms are designed to return your body back to this balanced state.

If your body needs to cool down, these mechanisms include: Sweating:

  • Your sweat glands release sweat, which cools your skin as it evaporates. This helps lower your internal temperature. 
  • Vasodilatation: The blood vessels under your skin get wider. This increases blood flow to your skin where it is cooler — away from your warm inner body. This lets your body release heat through heat radiation. 

If your body needs to warm up, these mechanisms include:

  • Vasoconstriction: The blood vessels under your skin become narrower. This decreases blood flow to your skin, retaining heat near the warm inner body.
  • Thermogenesis: Your body’s muscles, organs, and brain produce heat in a variety of ways. For example, muscles can produce heat by shivering.
  • Hormonal thermogenesis: Your thyroid gland releases hormones to increase your metabolism. This increases the energy your body creates and the amount of heat it produces. 

What does all this mean for your Health & Fitness?
Well the good news is that many studies show that utilising thermoregulation can help improve your overall health and boost our immune system. For example someone who spends months in a controlled temperature environment (e.g. air conditioned office), then goes outside in the cold can get sick due to their body not being use to the temperature change.

If we "exercise" our bodies temperature regulation system this can have significant benefits of the health of our body, mind and immune system.

Your Challenge

  1. Chill out:
    • We are now at the start of Winter and the sea temperature is starting to cool down. If you are feeling game get in for a swim... Keep swimming regularly and you may be able to go right through the Winter months.
    • If the ocean is too challenging you can try turning down the hot tap at the end of your shower. Whooo Hooo that’s a fresh idea! 
    • The colder water will make you feel alive... stimulate your body and nervous system. 
  2. Hot things up: 
    • Try Bikram yoga… a great way to warm up, stretch, strengthen core and stimulate your Thermoregulatory system. 
    • Jump in a Steam room or Sauna! Many gyms, hotels etc. have these now and the Scandinavians have said for decades the health benefits are great for the body, skin and immune system. 

Until next time… Chill out and Heat up your Winter fitness regime!  

About the author:

Andy Derijk was trained at the Australian Institute of Fitness as a Master Trainer and Personal Trainer and was awarded "Institute Champion” 
He also holds a Master Degree in Business Marketing.

Andy has a lifelong passion for fitness and provides holistic personal training. He runs 3 fitness sessions, 2 days a week, in the great outdoors at Elvina Bay.
Service Directory/Fitter Forever

Contact Andy on: 0418 613 890




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