Don’t be too quick to turn the heating on
The minute the temperature drops below a certain point, on goes the central heating. We live in within a culture of convenience and we don’t like to get cold. Thermostats ensure that rooms are kept at a constant ambient temperature. But is this really to our advantage? The ability to adapt to external temperatures is essential to our survival and it is this adaptability that is essential to our good health. Thermogenesis, or heat production, is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and can account for large part of our energy output over the winter months. It is our brown fat tissue (BAT) that is responsible for keeping us warm but if we don’t use it we lose it!
Essential brown fat can then be replaced by inflammatory white fat which can affect our immune system and our ability to ward off colds. It may therefore not be to our advantage to overprotect ourselves and our children by dressing too warmly when we go outside as we can lose our ability to thermos-regulate. Heat production can be encouraged through the use of foods such as chilli, turmeric, oily fish and green tea. Try to make sure that you have some opportunity to exercise outside too.