Why Do I Yawn When I Workout
When you’re sitting at work or school doing something like reading this article, you might feel a strange sensation coming on. A sudden urge to yawn. Why do we yawn? The reason for this is because our brains are very sensitive instruments that can easily be overheated. If left unchecked, it could lead to severe damage. To avoid any such damage occurring, the brain works hard to keep itself cool.
The best way to keep the brain cool is by inhaling cool air through your nose and exhaling warm air out of your mouth. This is known as “perspiring” and is one of the most basic functions of the human body that has been around since time immemorial. One of the oldest forms of perspiration was taking place when humans were still hunter-gatherers. They would go into areas where they knew there were plenty of trees with leaves and branches. These people would lay down under these trees and use their own bodies to create a shade over themselves. As long as the sun wasn’t directly overhead, the leafy canopy provided enough shadow to protect them from direct sunlight.
In modern times, however, the methods of creating shade have become more sophisticated. We now have air conditioners, fans, heaters and even electric blankets. All of these devices provide ways to control how much heat enters the room and what type of heat should enter the room. For example, if you live in an area that gets cold winters but doesn’t get hot summers, then using an electric blanket may not be necessary. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that gets really hot all summer long, then turning off the heater in winter will probably cause you trouble.
This is also true for the human body. Our internal organs need different amounts of heat depending on what part of the year it is. So while a person who lives in Florida needs to stay indoors during the heat waves, someone who lives in Alaska may want to turn up the thermostat outside just so they don’t freeze. And those who live in between places often find themselves stuck somewhere in the middle.
So why does sweating help our brains stay cooler? Sweating relies on evaporation – a process in which heat energy is converted into useful work. Evaporative cooling uses the principle that when moisture evaporates from one substance onto another, the two substances lose heat energy. Since sweat is mostly made up of water, it becomes vaporized when it comes into contact with the air. That’s what makes us feel cooler after working out.
But why does the brain specifically require such a high level of humidity? Most mammals regulate their environmental temperatures with special organ called the carotid sinus (or carotid artery), located near the base of the skull. Its main function is to measure the blood pressure in the carotids arteries and adjust the flow of blood accordingly. But its second job is arguably even more important: It acts as a thermostat for the entire central nervous system.
It does this by measuring the humidity within the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced by specialized cells within the walls of the dural venous sinuses. The purpose of CSF is to act as cushioning material inside the spinal cord. It provides protection against shock, reduces friction between adjoining structures (like the meninges) and lubricates joints.
Humidity plays a critical role in regulating the production of CSF. At low levels, the production of CSF actually increases. In fact, the optimal range of humidity for maintaining healthy levels of CSF is 50%-70%.
During exercise, your body produces sweat. After exercising, the body attempts to maintain its normal temperature by reducing the rate of sweat production. However, the brain requires higher levels of humidity than the rest of the body. This is because the brain is surrounded by a protective sheath of liquid called the arachnoid mater. The arachnoid mater contains a protein called aquaporin 4, which allows water molecules to pass freely through it. This is essential for the proper functioning of the brain.
As mentioned earlier, sweating relies on the evaporation of moisture from the skin. When sweat meets the moist atmosphere, it immediately begins to dry. Without sufficient humidity, sweat cannot dry properly and instead remains wet and sticky. This leads to increased friction between the layers of the skin and causes pain. This discomfort is similar to having sand fill up your shoe until it reaches the top of your foot. Imagine trying to run without ever removing the sand from your shoes!
Although sweating is good at lowering your core temperature, it can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Too little sweating can result in hypovolemic dehydration, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Hypovolemia occurs when too many fluids leave your body via urine and stool rather than sweat.
On the other hand, too much sweating can also be dangerous. Hyperthermia occurs when your body sweats excessively and generates excessive heat. Sweating is caused either by overexertion or extreme exposure to the sun. During exercise, the body releases excess heat that builds up in the muscles. Excessive sweating can cause hyperthermia and muscle fatigue. Severe cases of hyperthermia can eventually lead to death.
If you are experiencing symptoms like weakness, dizziness and nausea, you may be suffering from hyperthermia. You should seek medical attention right away to prevent further complications.
To reduce the risk of hyperthermia, make sure you drink lots of liquids before, during and after a workout. Water is usually preferred, but sports drinks are better alternatives. Also, wear loose fitting clothing, especially cotton shirts. Avoid going outside during a workout unless absolutely necessary. Finally, make sure you take regular breaks during a workout to allow yourself to cool down. Take a short walk or stretch to give your muscles a chance to relax.
You can try practicing yoga poses to increase your body’s natural ability to perspire. Yoga is also effective at improving breathing and increasing circulation, both of which promote sweating. Other exercises include brisk walking, swimming or bicycling.
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