Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Opinion

July 10, 2012

Hot is still better than cold

Greensburg — Weeks before the summer season technically arrived, high temperatures settled over most of the state. Now, with the record-setting readings of the past two weeks, the cold of winter seems a far distant memory but like every summer, I keep that cold-weather memory in mind. Making a vow years ago, I never wish for the heat of summer to disappear, although this year I do desperately wish we would be blessed with an abundance of rain because we are in dire need. Nonetheless, hot is still better than cold.

As luck would have it, our family chose this spring/summer to make some major changes to our heating and cooling system. With all ductwork removed from the lower level of our house, I am all too familiar with just how hot the inside living area can become in the midst of a heat wave. Strategically place fans rush the cool night and morning air into the environment and then the process is reversed by mid-afternoon. Even so, it is a challenge to remain somewhat comfortable, especially when the inside temperatures reach into the 90's.

What I have found to be true is that if you acclimate yourself to the heat, it is so much easier to handle. Over the past two weeks, I did have occasion to need a brief reprieve from the sweltering temperatures and so ventured into upper levels of the house that are being cooled by air conditioning. What I discover though is that by doing so, the body has a much more difficult time to adjust when re-entering the heat-filled area. Meaning, the heat feels so much worse after you have been cooled. To me, it is way more refreshing (and tolerable) to be splashed with cold water and remain in the heat than to sit in air-conditioning for extended periods. We have been fortunate to have ample breeze during this long stretch and so shade from the sun is what has been most needed.

In no way am I suggesting that air-conditioning isn't necessary because for many people it surely is. The sick, the young, and the elderly cannot tolerate extreme temperatures as well and so it would detrimental to their health to try and acclimate to such severe conditions. I merely suggest that is it possible to adjust to your circumstances if you are in relatively good health. Depending on your outlook, good feelings can be produced by testing out survival methods to keep cool in adverse conditions. It goes without saying that limiting strenuous activity is at the top of the survival list.

Strenuous body activity is not necessarily just hard physical labor but any major movement that exerts ample amounts of energy. While one might not necessarily put eating into that category, I think it applies to summer heat. When it is this hot outside, eating light is the only way to go. Perhaps with the problem of obesity in our country, people might want to endure some heat for a simple aid to reduce appetites and therefore, waistlines. Drink lots of water to hydrate and then feel less like consuming empty calories. No matter how bad something seems, there is usually a bright side lurking somewhere. You sometimes just have to search a while to find it.

Here's hoping everyone is keeping cool in one way or another. Drink lots of water and enjoy the heat because the cold winter days will return soon enough. Instead of wearing flip-flops and shorts while enjoying comfortable nights sitting outside, we will be sporting boots and heavy winter coats while wishing for warm breezes to return.

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