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The Cold Facts

posted: 02/28/2001
by Shawn Magee

Q: Why do women grumble about the cold more than men?

A: Let's agree on this: Humans are not built for cold. If we were, we'd be covered in thick fur. As it is, we're pretty much bald, and our blood likes to flow at a balmy 98.6. And girls, you've got it even worse. Your resting heart rate is lower than a man's, so your blood flows slower, leaving it more susceptible to cooling. When you get cold, your body goes into survival mode: To protect the reproductive organs, blood moves away from the extremities and concentrates in the core. "Women tend to store fat around the thighs and midsection, and have a layer of subcutaneous fat that helps retain heat centrally," explains Dr. Bart Clarke, a consultant for the Mayo Clinic. So you women might complain of cold digits while skiing, but if lost overnight in the woods, you'd actually stay alive longer than a man would. Though your limbs would be freezing off left and right, your extra insulation would keep your core -- and your vital organs -- toasty. Doesn't that give you the warm fuzzies?

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