Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Time to layer up

You've got to love the naive way the brits get over-excited about the weather ... a couple of sunny bank holiday weekends and we all assume summer is in full swing, ditch our jackets and swan around in short sleeves.

Then the inevitable happens, like today, the temperature drops and everyone finds themselves freezing without a jacket.

As I mentioned in my blog a couple of weeks ago the changing of seasons can be quite stressful psychologically. However it can also be stressful on the body, particularly in periods of extreme temperature fluctuations.

Your organs need to be kept within a tight temperature range to function properly and the hypothalamus works hard to regulate your internal temperature through various means. Your body can, over time, aclimatize, as alot of the London based antipedians will know! However if your external temperature changes frequently during a short period of time your hypothalamus has to work doubly hard.

The experience of being too hot or cold produces a stress response in the nervous system which in turn stresses the adrenal glands. In addition the immune system is much less effective at lower temperatures so being caught out without a cardigan could make you more likely to catch a cold.

So what's the solution given our changeable spring weather? Well for once it's not a nutritional one, other than having hot drinks and food to warm up! Being prepared clothes wise for all weather when you set out in the morning is probably prudent given the unreliability of our weather forecasts! Although I've found the combination of my Oregon Scientific temperature gauge, which let's me know the actual temperature outside, and (the most reliable weather forecast I've found) help me decide if it's jumper or jacket weather.

I've also found keeping a jumper and spare brollie in my desk invaluable, and if all else fails consider relocating to the ecuator!

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