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Why Do We Shiver When Cold?

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(Image credit: Yuri_arcurs | dreamstime)

Your body needs to keep a core temperature of about 98.6°F (36.9°C). To prevent hypothermia and other consequences of a chilled core, your brain monitors temperature very closely.

If the surface of your skin gets too chilly, skin receptors send signals to the brain, which sets into motion a series of warming tricks .

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Shivering is one such tactic, in which your muscles contract and expand in speedy bursts. In addition to quaky limbs, your jaw muscles might begin to shiver, making your teeth chatter.

This twitching exercise produces heat, which helps to raise body temperature. It's also your signal to find a toasty haven and a warm drink .

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Michelle Bryner
Michelle writes about technology and chemistry for Live Science. She has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Salisbury University, a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a degree in Science Journalism from New York University. She is an active Muay Thai kickboxer at Five Points Academy and loves exploring NYC with friends.