Sunday, May 3, 2009

Control Systems

Those of you who went to college with me might have a keen memory of control systems but that's not really what this discussion is about. Instead of tossing out a lot of ramble of feedback and feed forward data I wanted to talk about something I've found a lot of interest in, my body's inherent control systems.

I have a bad habit of paying a lot of attention to what my body is doing. I say it's a bad habit b/c I probably know too much about my weight fluctuations during the day and throughout the week. I pay so much attention to these fluctuations that Michael has actually hidden the scale from me in the past so I will forget about it for a while.

There are a few other observations about myself which I've become someone interested in, one of them is temperature control. A while back I began to notice some of the ways my body worked to control my core temperature as well as my temperature at certain locations of my body. After long rides I can be covered in sweat and bright red in the face yet my saddle has distinct areas which are always cold. Each of us has this inherent temperature control built in, the body knows which organs need to be kept at a certain temperature and regulates blood flow accordingly.

So why is this interesting now? I've noticed a new effect recently; when I finish a workout my belly is chilly. My shoulders might be bright red and I might have a pool of sweat below my bike but my belly is cold. I've heard a lot of warnings about not overheating while pregnant b/c the kiddo will warm up even more but I can't help to wonder, is that all as bad as everyone says or does my body seem to have an inherent understanding to keep that area cool?