It’s cold out and your teeth start chattering, legs start to shake, and your body feels like it’s about to shake itself into deformity. What’s happening? You’re probably shivering!
What is it?
Shivers are simply reflexes, which are triggered by the body to keep you safe and healthy. The brain, spinal cord, and uncountable nerves, aka the nervous system, control these reflexes. These nerves carry information, such as your body temperature, throughout your body. So when you jump into a freezing pool, your body is telling you, “Whoa! I’m cold! Warm me up!”
Your muscles begin to shake in small movement to create warmth by using energy. It is triggered to maintain homeostasis. Located in the posterior hypothalamus is an area called the primary motor center, which is responsible for the shivering. Therefore, the center is activated by cold signals from the skin and spinal cord that the body temperature has dropped even a fraction of a degree.
So, the next time you’re shivering, know it’s to keep yourself warm. Don’t just stand there! Snuggle up in a blanket, a towel, or stand near a crowd of people. Don’t become a victim to hypothermia.
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