All summer long, air conditioning blasts frigid air on you in supermarkets, the car, and nearly any establishment you walk into. Although the blast may seem like a welcome relief from the heat, the cold air can create some nasty side-effects. For one, artificial cold increases your appetite, causing you to gain weight in the summer, a traditional time to lose weight. Heavy, fried food seems normal within the cool crisp confines of these polar outposts. However, as soon as you step outside into the balmy hot air, the heavy food you just ate leaves you feeling sweaty, overstuffed and tired.
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Artificial cooling is also addictive. It compromises your body's ability to deal with high temperatures. You are meant to experience heat in summer, and cold in winter. Your body carefully calibrates and adjusts itself to each season. Part of each seasonal adjustment is a natural change in diet. Air conditioning scrambles these ancient biorhythms. If you live in air conditioning, you'll crave foods that are inappropriate for your climate.
Just like mood swings can be exhausting, sudden temperature changes are very taxing physically. In nature, it is rare to experience a sudden 20 or even 30 degree temperature change. In modern times, sudden temperature changes are the norm every time you step into your car, a store, or your home. The precipitous change causes sudden, intense biological changes as your body struggles to adapt.
As you enter an air-conditioned space, you may have goosebumps or shiver in order to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Your pores close, your muscles tighten, and your shoulders creep toward your ears just to deal with the sudden drop from balmy summer to frigid arctic. You might even get a crink in your neck, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The sudden 20 degree drop especially weakens your immunity, increasing your chances of catching a summer cold.
After you leave the conditioned space and step outside, you are slammed with a wall of heat. It seems hotter than before you entered. Now another reaction begins. Your pores open, blood rushes back to your extremities. Your cheeks flush, and sweat breaks on your forehead. You may feel out of breath just by standing outside. Twenty minutes or so later, your body has adjusted to heat, and the summer sun doesn't seem so alarming any more. Altogether, these changes overwhelm your body's ability to cope and create unnecessary stress.
As you experiment with living life as nature intended, free of climate control, exercise caution if you have a medical condition and always follow the advice of your doctor. To avoid sudden temperature changes, select the outside patio at your favorite restaurant whenever possible. Bring a sweater to the movie theater or supermarket. Take advantages of shade trees and fans to keep cool. At home, use air conditioning very sparingly. Your body will thank you for the consistency of temperature. My Saved Articles | Most Popular
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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I absolutely agree except for those 100 degree plus days! I tend to be sicker in the summers than winters all b/c of the crazy A/C levels used here. We use ceiling fans and open windows as much as possible. Regards, Asha Cryan
I do agree with using the air conditioner much less at home; but what about family members who suffer from seasonal allergies? As soon as the windows go up sneezing, coughing and sore throats are sure to follow for us.