It's Simply A Matter Of Acclimation

It's Simply A Matter Of Acclimation

Earlier this evening, I decided to take a walk after work.  Full disclosure, I recently started tracking my steps.

Yes, I know. I used to laugh at pedometer people too.  However, I read a series of articles that said walking is healthy, or something like that, and that 10,000 steps was a healthy bar for daily distance.

And then I found a nice app that feeds my carrot craving mind.  Welcome Pacer Pedometer to my life!

And so, after work today, I decided to go to a stroll to get in more steps.  It’s all about the steps!

While walking around Streeterville, I always find it interesting to watch the people.  Such an assortment of people. So much hustle and bustle.  People coming to and from the hospital, people going to the dining establishments in the area, people simply leaving work and going from point A to point B…so much going on.

As I walked, I started to notice all the people bundled up to the bone.  One woman nearly ran into me because she was so tightly bound in her winter coat, with a huge fur lined hood, that she literally couldn’t see me until she saw my feet, which startled her, and her little rat dog.  It actually made me giggle, because other than the color of her coat, she very closely resembled the character Kenny from South Park.

But as I saw all the people bundled up, I started to feel bad for them.  I mean, yes, it was approximately 33-36 degrees.  But the air was still…no breeze.  While 30 is cold, when there’s no breeze, it’s not unbearable. While they were wearing their expensive, Canada Goose good to whatever temperature coat, I was wearing dress slacks, a hoodie, and a beanie…sans gloves.

Now, I’m no tough guy.  I don’t think “men don’t need coats” or anything like that.  It’s simply a matter of acclimation.  If you’re bundled up super tight on a mild evening like tonight was, you’re going to be dying if we get hit with those polar vortex type conditions we saw a few years back.

You need to let your body acclimate to the cold. As you do, your body handles it better.  As I always would tell my students,

“You shouldn’t always be comfortable, it’s not healthy.”

It’s OK to be a little chilly.  It’s OK to be a little cold.  It makes you tougher.  Not in the burly bar brawling sense, but your body will be able to handle the temperatures better naturally.  Cold won’t feel as cold.

Now, I’m no genius.  That’s a tip I learned while living in Alaska.  I remember being bundled up completely one day, it had to have been October, temperatures were already creeping into the -20’s, but this was a particularly warm day, at least 10 degrees above zero.  A gentleman saw me walking into the grocery store and said

“If you’re bundled up like that now, you’re going to die in December.  Let your body get used to to the cold.”

One of the best tips I ever received.  And no, this isn’t some old Alaskan husbands tale, it has scientific backingAcclimatization is a concept used by Olympic Athletes for decades.  It’s totally real.

But as my mind wandered, bouncing across the lights, and the faces as I strolled comfortably through the streets, I thought about how those concepts are true for so many aspects of life.

“It’s not healthy to always be comfortable.”

I can recall that was a lesson my father passed on to me many times in life. Sometimes you must do things you don’t want to do. Often times, it’s good for you to do the heavy lifting, to feel some ache, both physical, mental, and even spiritual at time.  I hear the word resilience used often nowadays.  But, I’m not sure how much of it I actually see from day to day.

So the takeaway: Take some time to acclimate to the cold.  You’ll thank later.  Don’t be scared to be uncomfortable. That which doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger. Think about it.

So, do you consciously acclimate to seasonal changes?  Do you do anything specfic?  Let me know in the comments below.  

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This post was created on an HP Pavilion x360. 



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