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3 Unexpected Ways Temperature & Weather Affect You

November 26, 2013

Wish you could lose weight? Solve a problem? Enjoy the holidays?

The temperature (both inside and outside your home) could actually be keeping you from attaining these goals.

In fact, temperature can affect your attention span, appetite, and mood.

Being too hot or cold makes it difficult to solve problems

Have an annoying life problem you just can’t crack? Maybe you should set the thermostat at 72 degrees.

One study attempted to see how temperature affects students’ attention span when taking a test. It found that temperature impacts your ability to pay attention and therefore your ability solve problems.

The study found that when the room was too cold (61 degrees) or too warm (81 degrees), the tests results dropped. The students in the cold room had an average score of 76 while the ones in the warm room had an average score of 72.

But those who took a test in a room where the temperature was “just right” (72 degrees) had an average score of 90!

What this means to you:

Next time you’re freezing or sweating at work, use this study to show your boss the importance of a good working environment. Or if you’re the boss, maybe it’s time to make sure everyone is comfortable. Your company’s productivity could be at stake!

Cold temperatures may make you to gain more weight

While we’d like to blame gaining extra weight on the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals put before us, lower temperatures may also be one of the problems.

Barrie Wolf-Radbille, MS, RD, a nutritionist with the New York University Program for Surgical Weight Loss says that, "As soon as temperatures drop, our appetite goes up for high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods -- stews, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese -- the dishes that make us feel warm and cozy."

Those high-carb, starchy foods quickly break down into sugar and lead to blood sugar spikes and drops. When blood sugar drops, you get hungry...causing you reach for more high carb comfort foods.

It’s a tough cycle to break.

What this means for you:

Recognize that if you’re cold you might not be as hungry as you feel. And know that any food can warm you up and increase your metabolism. You just need to reach for healthier foods. If you’re craving carbs, eat complex carb foods that slowly break down into sugar over time.

Cold weather can make you SAD

Studies show that cold, cloudy days lead to “winter blues” or even worse—seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is “a type of depression that occurs regularly, every autumn and winter, when the days get short and dark,” according to Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D.

What this means for you:

Florida isn’t exactly a winter wonderland, so SAD isn’t common here. But for the holidays many Floridians travel to visit family in northern states and don’t realize this sudden change in weather can affect their mood.

Dr. Rosenthal suggests several proven solutions for treating SAD, including

  • Doing stress management activities (like yoga or meditation)
  • Eating well (see above)
  • Exercising often

Stay comfortable, folks!

As you can see, your surrounding temperature can make or break how much you enjoy your holidays with your family. So, if you have any problems with your heating system in the following months, contact us for help. We’re here for you 24/7 and never charge you overtime fees—ever!

Cool Today provides award-winning air conditioning service to Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding areas like Bradenton, Tampa, and Port Charlotte. If you have any questions, talk to one of our experts for help.

Posted in: Tips

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