This article has no political agenda and is not based on the musings of Al Gore.
Regardless of your scientific background, political stance or perspective on mankind’s effect on our environment or ecology, you will not likely be offended by this column.
This column is about climate change that will begin creeping into our area soon. As a result of the perpetual realignment of the earth’s position relative to the sun, our weather will soon begin turning cooler.
Some people call this change autumn, while others refer to it as fall. It’s real and we will soon be feeling the effects of this major climate change.
Weather has a tremendous effect on our health. Ask anyone that has long standing joint issues whether they qualify as a human barometer.
“Storm’s coming,” a former neighbor used to say when his knees began their familiar aching. He was almost always correct. His knee joint tissues reacted to the changing barometric pressure, temperature and humidity in a way that accurately predicted the coming rain clouds.
In ancient times, people recognized the physiological effects of weather somewhat more astutely than we do today. People living in earlier generations were naturally more attuned to natural phenomena.
In traditional Chinese medicine for example, great emphasis is placed on the effects of dampness, dryness, heat or cold, and wind.
These adverse conditions can have predictable effects on the health of a person exposed to them.
It is not even necessary to go back to the origins of ancient medicine to find references to modifying our personal environment to protect our health.
My parents’ generation was keenly attentive to climatic influences on health. This may be because their generation lived in a time when there were more situations that required that a person be exposed to adverse climatic conditions than today.
Even though people are less in tune with their body’s response to weather conditions, we are still just as vulnerable to the whims of nature.
As the season yields to autumn during the next several weeks, your health may be affected.
Initially you may experience an increase in allergy-type symptoms. More runny noses and itchy eyes are expected.
As the weather cools, increased joint stiffness is a familiar complaint. The tissues that are responsible for normal joint movement become less flexible. The muscles tend to contract just a little bit more. As muscles shorten the joints become tighter and may be more painful.
As the amount of sunlight diminishes, this affects the way our brains work. Daylight hours impact the functioning of numerous neurological processes. You may find that your productivity drops off or that you need more sleep. For some people, irritation or depression increases.
These types of climate changes can be stressful for your body. Stress causes the weaknesses of your body to become more likely to manifest. Your immune system may be unable to protect you from the next virus you encounter. Respiratory illnesses become more common as the winter approaches.
Obviously there is little you can do to prevent the coming seasonal climate change. The only thing you can do to protect yourself is to anticipate and prepare for it.
Having the right clothing available is important. Choosing to actually wear the right clothing is even more important. It is surprising to see so many people refuse to wear longer jackets or coats then complain that they are cold. A jacket or coat that actually extends below the hips is much more protective to the elements than one that comes only to the waist.
Proper nutrition can make a great difference in how your body handles the stress of climate change. Restricting the junk food and increasing your intake of health water, vegetables and fruits can promote a much healthier fall and winter. Water is an important nutrient too.
Enjoying movement exercises, even in inclement weather while wearing appropriate clothing, can increase the strength of your immune system.
Anticipating and preparing for the coming climatic change will protect your health.