When the Temp Goes Up The Pounds Will Follow

My Bariatric Life Health Guide

    Last summer my husband and I began our transition from New Jersey to Indiana. The first U-Haul was stocked up with furniture, and my husband was off to Indy to deliver the load and begin renovations on our new home. On the day he arrived the temperature was 104 degrees. It would remain above one hundred degrees for the next four days until it finally slipped into the mid-ninties for the rest of the month. Needless to say, unloading a truck filled with furniture by oneself in 104 degrees is not on the to do list of most people.


    Such days usually demand hammocks, lemonaid, and swimming pools. People seldom suggest unloading trucks or any type of exercise for that matter. You don't have to be a weather man to know that it's just too hot for those sorts of things. My husband withstanding, heat and physical activity do not mix well. As a matter of fact, researchers at the University of Austin Texas have linked obesity to temperature and humidity. Simply put, when the heat is up physical activity is down.

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    Is It Hot Enough For You?

    There is one in every crowd who feels compelled to ask this question on those days when it is clearly too hot for any living creature that walks or crawls. Yes, it is too hot for me. It is too hot to turn the pages of a newspaper. It is even too hot to lick a stamp -- and it is darned sure too hot to exercise. 


    The researchers at the University of Texas found that people who live in counties where summers are hot are less physically active. If rain and humidity are added to the mix, there is even less inclination to get physical. The study also found the same effect at play in counties where winters are particularly cold, cloudy and dark.


    The summer heat in certain regions can help explain why obesity is more prevalent in those areas. Study maps support the contention that counties where people are less active and more obese tend to be in the southwest where the summer climate is hot and wet. Those who are more active in those summer months were found to live in the mountain west where the summer season is cool and dry. 


    One of the authors of the study, assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Paul von Hippel, suggests formulating a strategy to beat the heat. He recommends getting active in the early morning or going for a swim. Indoor exercise like walking the teadmill or ice skating are also good options.


    von Hippel also recommends that city planners give a bit more thought to what people are willing to do when the temprature rises. He points out that parts of Austin where a scorching asphalt road has a painted bicycle lane will probably not be a good draw. But von Hippel applauds Austin's Lady Bird Lane where walkers and joggers use the shady path that is close to water.      


    And oh, by the way, my husband hated every single minute it took to unload that dreadful U-Haul truck.


    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life


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    Science World Report

Published On: July 22, 2014