When I was 17 I was unfit, overweight and unhealthy (I never even drank water!). High school had just finished and I was trying to secure my first full time job. Bored and eating too much, I spent all my days inside with the air conditioning blaring and the curtains closed. I couldn’t go outside in the summer heat without feeling like I was dying. It was only 30 degrees Celsius – pretty average for an Australian summer. Over time I lost 40 kilograms through eating better and exercising. Then I became a sun worshipper! Winter was a lot harder initially as my body adjusted to life without the extra insulation. I had become an aerobics junkie so all of my exercise was done inside. I spent most of my life indoors without even realising it – wake up in my house, drive in my car, sit inside at work all day, drive to gym, exercise inside, then drive home and spend the rest of the night inside at home. I was never exposed to the natural weather and elements. Everything was either heated or air-conditioned depending on the seasons. Fast forward to a time when I became an outside runner and stopped going to the gym and I noticed something. Winter was not cold to me anymore – I could observe that it was cold, but it didn’t affect me anymore. The more time I spent outside in the weather acclimatising and appreciating what every season brings with it, the less I felt any negative effects. In summer I don’t use my air conditioner at all (except in the car intermittently). I love the heat and will spend as much time outside as I can. In winter I absolutely love going for a morning run when it’s frosty – it’s so beautiful and crisp plus exercise is a huge contributing factor for good circulation. I spend every lunch break outside rain hail or shine. My work colleagues think I’m mad, but I think they are that they never step away from the desk and get some fresh air in their lungs! I see them walk around on hot days complaining how hot it is with a steaming cup of coffee in their hand – hello?! All I hear is people complaining about the weather – its either too hot or too cold, but I really believe it’s because they don’t spend any time at all outside and they overuse heaters and A/Cs. The weather is what it is. We can’t change it, but we can change our perception of it. Why waste all that energy opposing something you can’t do anything about – just go with the flow. Every season brings something unique if you really think about it and we need them all for our crops to grow. My favourite season is Spring – I love all of the blossoms, daylight savings, and that fresh energy in the air promising summer is just around the corner. I love Summer for its long days, hot nights, sun baking and spending more time outside and at the beach. The colours of Autumn are so stunning and we get a perfect mix of sunny days and crisp nights. Winter is an opportunity to snuggle up (the best season if you have a cat like I do), spend time around a fire and more time at home cooking hearty warming foods. Rainy days are the best for curling up with a book or a movie, and if I’m at work I would much rather be stuck inside on a rainy day than a gorgeous sunny one! Rain actually charges the air with negative ions which are SO good for your mood. They are the same ions floating around the ocean and waterfalls which is why it feels so good to be near them! Salt lamps also charge the air with negative ions. Columbia University conducted a study using negative ion generators to see their effect on people with winter and chronic depression. The study showed that these generators helped relieve depression as much as antidepressants. Pierce J. Howard says: “Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,”
I find it really sad that people are so out of touch with nature. During the day most people wear sunglasses when we are supposed to absorb blue light from the sun, then at night people are watching tvs, glued to smart phones and tablets which emit blue light 100 times more powerful than the sun – at a time when we should be winding down for sleep! I wear my blue blockers at night for watching tv and I low light the house only with salt lamps and I sleep long and deep. Dr Mercola writes a lot about sunlight exposure and sunglasses here.
We have had glorious unseasonably warm weather with plenty of sunshine here in Melbourne over the past week. I’ve heard people complain that we haven’t had any rain this winter and their gardens are suffering. Then the moment we get a rainy day all I hear is how miserable it is outside – it’s winter ffs, it’s meant to be cold and rainy! I honestly feel the way people talk about weather reflects their inner state. If you are content inside, then you are content no matter what the temperature is. I always say if the weather is all you have to complain about then you are pretty damn lucky! There are people living in far worse circumstances around the world…
I just read an amazing book called What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney who learns the Wim Hof method. Scott brings forth some amazing historical facts about how we became so weakened in our evolution over thousands of years – there hasn’t always been heating and cooling and yet somehow people still survived! Wim Hof has commonly been nicknamed “The Iceman” for his ability to withstand extreme cold which he attributes to exposure to cold, meditation and breathing techniques. He climbed to 6.7 kilometres (22,000 ft) altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts and shoes – just one of his many amazing achievements!
Here’s a classic by Crowded House on the subject of weather.