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How The Summer Heat Impacts Your Health

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By Kirstin Chock

Summer time for millions of people is a period to relax, kick back, and enjoy some much needed down time.  However, with warmer temperatures, the traditional summer time fine is not so sweet.  While the sun provides benefits, the warmer temperatures now result in too much sun exposure, which is not beneficial for the human body.  In fact, it is very detrimental to your health in many ways.

Laziness strikes

A study by Harvard Medical School reported that weather affects the body in many ways.  The scorching temperatures of the summer make you lazier and less productive.  The study found that people in cooler temperatures are more productive and not as lazy.  Nonetheless, this lack of productivity is important to be aware of because when the body is moving less and is doing more sitting or lying down, the body is at risk of developing health issues.

You are slower

One of the most common forms of exercise is running.  Running is very simple to do because all that is really required is an outfit and a pair of shoes.  Yet, even for the fit enthusiast, getting the motivation to get out and run in the summer months is a challenge.  Researchers in Copenhagen studied the effects of heat in relation to running.  The study found that with global warming, people run an approximately 11% slower than in optimal temperatures.  

Image: Pixabay / marijana1

Your Brain

The heat can cause heat syncope, which is a drop in blood flow to the brain.  This is common for people who work outdoors or participate in outdoor sports.  Sweating is the bodily response to cool down the body.  In turn, losing all of these fluids causes dehydration, light headedness, and low blood pressure.  All of which often result in fainting or passing out.  Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are very serious matters and it is always important to be aware of how your body feels and to be aware of the people around you.  The Center for Disease Control reported that in the U.S., more than 600 people die from the heat each year.

Hair damage

Millions of people suffer from dry, brittle, breaking hair caused by the extreme summer heat.  If you have split ends or white dots in your hair, your hair is damaged.  Just as you need to put sunscreen on your skin to protect your skin from developing skin cancer, you need to protect your hair.  The American Academy of Dermatology states that hair health is very important because our hair is a very important protection layer for the skin. 

Mood swings

The body has an ideal temperature that makes you feel comfortable.  When the temperature is too far from your ideal body temperature, you are not a very happy camper.  A study published by the European Journal of Social Psychology found that hot and humid temperatures have a strong effect on your emotions.  The study found that people have a higher chance of being irritated, angry, or violent due to the summer heat.

Your appetite

According to a report published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the heat affects your appetite in several ways.  Eating is a significant contributor to maintaining body heat and appropriate body temperature.  The process of eating food creates heat.  This is why during the summer, the summer heat suppresses people’s appetites.  However, suppressed appetites does not mean healthier people.  The study also concluded that even though appetites are suppressed, people crave cooler foods that are typically high in sugar, such as ice cream and soda.  

Sleepiness strikes

If you have ever gone to lay out at the pool or the beach, you realize that you always get tired after being out in the sun for a certain amount of time.  The reason why you get sleepy is because the summertime heat causes the body to work twice as hard to regulate your body’s temperature and to keep the body from overheating.  The body likes an internal temperature of around 37°C.  One degree off causes the body to start working to regulate proper body temperature. 

Image: Pixabay / TerriC

Acne epidemic

While there are many causes of acne, there tends to be more outbreaks during the summer for several reasons.  During the summer, people tend to spend more time outdoors.  Spending time outdoors causes the body to sweat and the sweat accumulation is what causes acne to breakout.  When you sweat, there are a bunch of dirt particles and oils on the outer layer of the skin, and people do not wash their skin properly to cleanse the skin of all the sweat, dirt, and oil buildup. 

Sick season

The summertime is the prime time season for sickness.  The warmer the weather, the longer it takes your body to fight off infections.  Your immune system is weaker in the summer because in the summer, people tend to participate in more activities and are a lot more active outdoors.  Also, bacteria thrives more in warmer weather and allergies are more prominent from all the plants blooming. 

What to do

Summer is a time for fun outdoor activities and adventures.  However, it is very important to take care of your health and to always be prepared with everything you need before you embark for your activity or adventure.  To avoid a potentially deathly situation, you need to have a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, hair protectant heat spray, and drinks that have electrolytes.  This is this the bare minimum that you need to have at all times to ensure proper safety and good health. 

 
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