The Hypothalamus : Get Outdoors

The Hypothalamus

by Jan Hackett on 03/15/12

The hypothalamus is located in the brain just above the brain stem. One of it's most important functions is providing a link between the vervous system and the endocrine system. Another key function is the regulation of body temperature through automated responses such as vaso dilation/constriction and uncontrolled muscle flexion & estension i.e. shivering. The signals to regulate body temp comes from the skin and the spinal cord.  These signals are transmitted with temperature changes of a fraction of one degree.

In the case of heavy exercise/heat illness the body is trying to cool itself through perspiration and vaso-dialation. This heat loss through evaporation and convective heat loss chills the skin tiggers the hypothalamus into thinking your cold causing the body to shiver generating additional heat. In the case of heat illness this becomes a serious problem


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