Adapting to Cold

This year I've become interested in the body's ability to adapt to cold weather. Growing up in the Southeast cold weather is typically short lived and not something that we had to deal with for long. But after this weekend I was curious as to how people handle outside activities when temperatures drop into single digits.

After some research I discover an article that starts with the statement:

"Humans are essentially tropical animals and are not equipped to deal with even mild cold. That we can live in cold climates is a result of behavioural adaptations such as wearing appropriate clothing and building shelters." (read more)

I have always believed that people were not designed to live in cold climates. But how can I adapt and continue my training and enjoyment of the outdoors?

One thing I try to do to adapt is not to wear heavy coats when I'm doing short term activities in the cold; taking out the garbage, feeding the birds, getting the mail. I'm trying to adapt to the cold so the more prolong activities (more than a hour or two) with the proper clothing don't seem so harsh. I have noticed that after long exposure to the cold I am much more fatigued that normal.

I can't imagine dealing with more than a few weeks of cold and a few days of really cold weather and tip my skull cap to people that live north of the Mason-Dixon line.


Had Enough to Eat?

Check out this story over at NPR about overeating.

Gut Reaction: Overeating Can Impair Body Function
by Patti Neighmond

The holiday season is pretty much over. But is your body over the holiday season? For many people, indulging during these food-filled celebrations can set the stage for routine overeating.
The problem, some doctors and researchers say, is that overeating causes biological changes in the body that can lead to more food cravings and cause your stomach to send mixed signals about when it's actually full. (read more)

Be sure to read this as well: A Partial Fast Retunes The Body. From juice-only diets to herbal tea cleanses, there are lots of fasting fads for sale, but experts say a 24-hour fast with water is the safest.


New Year-Nicer You

Wouldn't it be great if you could just say; I'm going to be a better person to my family, friends, co-workers, and general people I meet. Making a broad general statement is less effective than resolving to make a specific change; something like quit complaining or if you just want to be happier check out Gretchen Rubin's "Ten Tips to Being Happier". Gretchen has many of the same personality traits that I have been working on so it's easy for me to relate and try things that may help. I have serious programing that takes me tremendous effort to change. It's hard but worth the effort.

Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a Resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends. Qurikology Study.

Increase the odds: Set goals; start small and move up. Start with daily easy obtainable goals and to have a clear view of what you want your life to be like. Try this exercise of writing your on personal commandments. Here are mine:

  • Practice Patience
  • The Golden Rule (I figure if I can get this one right the other things will fall in place)
  • Stay in the present moment.
  • Act the way I want to feel.
  • Choose not to take things personally.
  • Forget the past.
  • Don't complain.

I may add others. Working on these will take relentless effort, I'll keep you updated on my progress.