The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

But Baby It’s Cold. . . Inside. . .

on September 26, 2012

This year I finally got air conditioning in my house.  When I first moved in 6 years ago, the heat on the worst days of the summer was unbearable, the humidity even worse, but I didn’t want to get A/C because of the costs involved both in installing it and running it.  However, this summer was the first with my CPAP and when it’s hot I have a tendency to push it off my face without ever waking up and this results in what I call “unsleep”, which given the severity of my apnea could be really harmful to my health and well being.

Mostly because I’m frugal and because I was used to extreme temperatures and the cat didn’t seem to mind too much, I kept the temperature during the day at 28 degrees Celsius which is roughly 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit.  I would bring it down when I got home in the evening, to say 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  The humidity was lower and I could actually function.  Earlier in the summer I would get home from work with all sorts of ideas to work on things in the evening and then I’d walk into my furnace of a house and all I could muster was sitting on the couch with an icy drink and a popsicle.  In fact some nights, my entire dinner consisted of frozen fruit and popsicles and if I was really desperate I’d go for a drive to the local drive-thru and get a large pop and an ice cream cone to cool off.

Now it seems that air conditioning is making us fat.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9416-aircon-and-lack-of-sleep-promote-obesity.html

While heat extremes can be dangerous for our health (http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/heat-related-illnesses/index.html) it appears that we need extremes in temperature to keep us burning calories.  In the summer we sweat and we eat less and in the winter we shiver and both help with weight control.  When we live in a climate controlled environment we miss these highs and lows for the most part and we eat too much and we are too comfortable doing it.  Granted I was eating a lot of ice cream calories to keep cool and I could actually be more active than just sitting on the couch because the air conditioning enabled me to do work around the house instead of puddling on the couch, but overall it seems I would be better off to sweat it out.  Now for me sleeping is a life or death issue so I will continue to regulate the temperature while I sleep, but I’m going to work on pushing my thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter and learning to like it.

– the Goddess

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