Check your temp — are you warm or cold?
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This is the optimal body temperature for men with great rockiness
In recent memory, the man who brought the importance of optimal body temperature back to the forefront definitely has to be biologist Ray Peat, PhD.
Since average body temperature (98.6F) was first scientifically measured and established in the mid-19th century, it has progressively but surely lost importance as an indicator of overall health.
In fact, over the course of the 20th century, a cold body temperature even came to be seen as a beneficial sign associated with longevity.
Clearly, this idea was foolish in the context of humans being warm-blooded animals…
Because warm-blooded animals require a constantly warm temperature for enzymes, energy production, and various other processes to take place.
Another change which has progressively taken place is the continued lowering of average body temperature in so-called ‘’developed’’ countries.
Many factors are at play, from too much time spent indoors, introduction of unsaturated vegetable oil in the regular diet, EMF exposure, social stress etc.
The result is such that it is now very rare to find adults with optimal body temperature (98.6F).
An associated consequence is the explosion of chronic inflammatory disorders, which affect every system in the human body, from respiratory and digestive, to cardiovascular.
In very diseased individuals, exercise is often recommended despite the fact that it can be positively dangerous when health is already compromised.
Sometimes, careful exercise can indeed lower inflammation in ill individuals, but it can also aggravate the underlying inflammatory patterns.
Much of the benefit of exercise in lowering inflammation is thought to be derived from the warmth it induces.
It is for this reason that simply increasing body temperature with a warm bath, for example, can be incredibly beneficial for individuals dealing with chronic inflammation:
Regular exercise is often recommended for decreasing chronic inflammation, despite the fact that prolonged strong muscle contraction produces inflammatory cytokines. It turns out that the increased temperature produced by muscle activity has antiinflammatory effects that outweigh the effects of the contraction-induced cytokine.
Raising body temperature artificially effectively raises metabolism, and in turns activates anti-inflammatory pathways within the body.
However, spending too much time in a warm bath can also have the opposite effect, because raising metabolism also increases glucose requirements.
Insufficient glucose can trigger a stress reaction.
Therefore making sure to provide sufficient glucose, say via fruit juices, can help prevent adverse effects from raising body temperature.
The main takeaway is that if you’re suffering from any type of noticeable inflammation, and you tend to have a suboptimal body temperature…
…things like a sauna, a warm bath or shower, or even a jacuzzi can be very therapeutic.
Therefore, HWI (Hot Water Immersion) shows potential as a strategy to combat chronic low-grade inflammation and improve glucose metabolism in individuals without the physical capacity to do so using exercise.
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Hoekstra SP, Bishop NC, Leicht CA. Elevating body temperature to reduce low-grade inflammation: a welcome strategy for those unable to exercise? Exerc Immunol Rev. 2020;26:42-55. PMID: 32139348.
Ray Peat. Inflammation, adaptation and aging. Ray Peat’s Newsletter March 2021
Hoekstra, S P et al. “Acute and chronic effects of hot water immersion on inflammation and metabolism in sedentary, overweight adults.” Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985) vol. 125,6 (2018): 2008-2018. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00407.2018
Ploeger HE, Takken T, de Greef MH, Timmons BW. The effects of acute and chronic exercise on inflammatory markers in children and adults with a chronic inflammatory disease: a systematic review. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2009;15:6-41. PMID: 19957870.