The Brisbane Heat is already ramping up ... and its only October! (From the title of this article, can you tell my feelings about the North Lakes and Brisbane heat?) For the past month or so, I have already seen in many people and have felt it myself the immediate effects of the mercury rising.
What I see predominantly is that even so quickly after a 3-day weekend, people are tired and simply do not have the normal energy to do their normal activities. For myself, I am feeling drained and exhausted when I go for a run ... that and sweating lots.
Brisbane Heat and Your Body
There is a rule-of-thumb used by runners that for every 5-degree rise above 10 degrees Celsius, your marathon time will be slower by 2-4 percent. The reason is believed to be due to the body requiring extra energy just to keep itself cool.
I have extrapolated that if this extra energy is required for runners, so too would it be true for people at rest. In other words, for every 5 degrees above 10 degrees Celsius, your body requires 2-4% extra energy just to keep itself cool.
What this means is that already with the Brisbane heat around 25-30 degrees in the day time, that would mean that your body is working 6-12% harder just to stay comfortable even if the temperature "feels nice." Here's the rub: that extra energy has to come from somewhere. And with the busyness of daily life plus the fact that we don't really slow down to adjust to the environment, it means that we end up exhausting ourselves.
But Wait, There's More!
Surely you know by now that I can be a bit neurotic about things. One of them is the Brisbane heat ... namely the fact that the news stations don't report what is called a Heat Index or Humidex. It is a calculation that takes not just daily temperature, but this lovely thing we have in North Lakes and Queensland called "humidity" into account in order to give an estimate of what the daily temperature actually feels like.
I have collected temperature and humidity data for the past 3 years from September through April. In October the average daily temperature already feels like 32.6 degrees ... and then from November through March, the average daily temperature - every day for 5 straight months - is 38.5 degrees!
What this means is that your body works harder 10-20% just to keep itself cool - every day for 5 straight months! I have seen for many years now the effect of this heat exhaustion on people in November, February, and March. Want to know what the #1 thing that people tell me in those months?
"I'm just so tired! I'm sleeping, but I'm just so tired." The biggest effect I've noticed is on people who already experience chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Their bodies are already spent on energy, so this extra drain can be quite debilitating. I've already started hearing it this year too. Why? ... Summer is Coming.
What to Do About It
Save for leaving the state and moving much farther south, or living in the air-conditioner, it is difficult to escape the Brisbane heat through the summer and still have a life. Still, there are a few guidelines I'd like to share that may assist as we head into summer.
- Whatever the temperature says, you can easily add 5 degrees for the effective temperature with the humidity (sometimes 10). Plan your days accordingly by drinking extra fluids. 2 Litres is bare MINIMUM.
- Don't skip the salt. With summer, there is sweating ... and you lose not just water, but also your salts & electrolytes, which are essential for your muscles and nervous system to function properly. It is not just water you need to increase through the summer. Assuming you don't have any kidney or other health issues where you need to monitor your salts closely, this is probably one of the other most important things to do.
- Keep your upper neck adjustment in check. It is highly likely that through the summer - plus the joys and challenges of Christmas, whether you celebrate or not - that the extra stress in the environment will challenge your nervous system ... which means that your adjustment will probably not hold as long.
(I've seen if for many years that through December especially if a person requires an Upper Cervical adjustment once a month, they usually require 2 adjustments in December.) Obviously, my whinging will not stop summer and the heat from coming.
Still, by being mentally and emotionally prepared for what's coming - for myself and also for you, who has read this article - I hope that it will make things just a little better over the next few months.