Sandra and I live in Michigan, usually the place of gorgeous summers. Today, however, the thermometer reads at 87 and it’s still climbing. Last night my husband, Bud, and I had plans to eat outside with friends. The air was, to quote one friend, stifling, and so we changed our plans. We chose air conditioning.
The sun is shining down on us with great intensity and it is bringing both joy and danger. Well, perhaps danger is too strong a word, but certainly we have to consider ways to keep our physiology cool and in balance during these hot days. Keeping cool in intense heat is definitely preventative medicine.
Sandra has commented to me that she has had clients who exercise strenuously in the summertime and pay for it during the winter. The payback can be a pitta depression. In our book Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way we discuss pitta depression and offer questionnaires to help you ascertain whether or not you are suffering from this malady. We also offer several interventions that can help you to keep pitta dosha in balance.
Fireworks are hot! They are also beautiful but let’s keep all excessive heat outside and not allow your physiology to become overheated on this 4th of July weekend.
Following are some tips for keeping cool:
Exercise less in the summer than in the winter and pay attention to these four dopamine-lowering, serotonin-boosting principles:
- Maximize the opportunity to be out in a cool natural setting, preferable near water.
- Minimize drive, competition, and high intensity in your chosen sport.
- Schedule fun time into your daily activities.
- Minimize your exposure to heat.
In addition, cut down on alcohol consumption during these hot summer months. Now, this can be a problem because summer is viewed as a time to relax. Millions of us take summer vacations or time out from a regular schedule. Relaxation time often coincides with a cocktail hour or more drinking. Alcohol is heating to the physiology and can trigger a pitta imbalance that you will be paying for in the months to come. Beer is not as heating as wine and if you want to imbibe it’s a better choice than a glass of vino (or liquor).
Sandra and I wish you a wonderful, fun-filled 4th of July! Enjoy picnics, fireworks, family and being outside. For the sake of your health remember not to get overheated and to mind the body. We want to move from one season to another with a balanced physiology. Keeping pitta dosha in balance during the hot months of summer is important for the goal of health maintenance!
We wish you the best!