Climate changes play a large role in thermoregulation, food choices, and extrinsic motivation to exercise. When warm weather rolls around, most folks try to make smarter food choices, exercise regularly, and spend more time outdoors. However, the summer months may have a greater effect on waist lines than most people realize.
More time off from work
For starters, certain professions (education for example) give more time off during the summer months. This generates more free time and opportunity for trainees to get in the gym. Not to mention, with less job concerns, most will find their stress levels significantly lower and at a physiological level that can influence a number of different hormonal, endocrine, and systemic factors.
Research shows that basal metabolic rate in the heat can increase by 5-20%, but it’s also important to remember that the weather will also drastically influence our exercise selection and caloric output. For example, when things warm up, most folks will head to the beach or lake and swim for a few hours in between some sun bathing. Research also proves that swimming can burn up to four times as many calories, and running and exercise in the heat can significantly decrease appetite.
Daylight savings allows for more hours of actual sunlight, which provides trainees the opportunity to exercise outdoors, get some sunlight, and spend less time in front of the TV.
When the weather warms up, you will likely see food choices change. This is because as marketing shifts, different cooking methods are utilized, and produce becomes readily available. Summer barbecues present the opportunity for ample protein sources and plentiful fresh fruits and vegetables.
Marketing ramps up
Marketing also plays a key role in the nutritional sector. Many magazines and newspapers shift their approach to lower calorie recipes and “lighter” desserts as most folks don’t want heavy or rich items in the excessive heat. On top of that, there are fewer holidays throughout the summer months which present fewer events, but with excessive food choices and caloric laden recipes.
Higher extrinsic motivation & less clothes
Last but not least, we have to remember that psychological factors play a huge role in intrinsic motivation and the commitment to remain dedicated despite the influence of external factors. For example, intrinsic motivation stems from behaviors that are personally rewarding, whereas, extrinsic motivation is rooted in behaviors based on the enticement of reward or to avoid punishment.
During the summer months, most people wear less clothing that show off more skin; therefore, they become even more aware of their self-image. That being said, everyone wants a great physique (i.e. reward) so the extrinsic motivation to exercise is often increased. This is why you’ll also notice that advertisements drastically changes as warm weather rolls in. Commercials for vacations, cruises, and swimsuits ramp up as dealers understand that most folks will be looking to make the most of the weather.
Overall, by using the beautiful season as a motivation, it is time to act fast to reach your health and fitness goals. The summer gives an extra reason to finally get up, move and achieve your targets. It’s not too late to get that beach or bikini body of your dreams; it only requires discipline and dedication.