Most of us can’t wait for summer to arrive, freeing ourselves from cumbersome clothing, and delighting in longer days filled with all that the season has to offer. So why does summer sometimes make us feel lethargic? What accounts for those lazy days of summer?
According to Quartz Media, the answer simple, and scientifically-based: hot weather slows our bodies down. The hotter it is outside, the more energy we must expend to keep ourselves cool. As a result, activities we ordinarily find easy — such as walking or exercising — take a lot more effort.
“Fortunately, our bodies adapt to warmer weather by producing more plasma — the liquid portion of our blood,” says physiologist Santiago Lorenzo, who teaches medicine at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida. Lorenzo says, “Plasma brings more oxygen to our muscles, helping them to generate more energy and regulate our body temperature. Also, the more active we are, the more our bodies adapt, helping our sweat glands to cool our skin more quickly. Being active even helps our heart pump blood more efficiently, allowing us to take in more oxygen, and have more energy.”
Lorenzo says that after 10 – 14 days, our bodies begin to adapt to warmer weather. However, he reminds people to drink more liquids and get out of the sun for a while when we feel overheated.
So, despite feeling a bit lazy at times, summer is a great time to get out and enjoy those wonderful farmer’s markets, festivals, and fun with family and friends.
Here’s to a healthy and active summer!