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Medical Edge: People less active in warm weather

Updated: Monday, July 14 2014, 04:55 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Summer might not lend itself to shaping up; this according to a new report from experts at the Cleveland Clinic.

The summer sunshine could be the perfect motivation to get people moving.  But rather than encouraging activity some of the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer actually do the opposite.  Researchers discovered people do less activity during the summer, not more, which can be hazardous to the waistline.

Other than pool time, where people often still socialize rather than swim, psychologists said that when the weather was nice people tended to focus on what they would rather be doing; usually leisure activities such as boating and barbecuing rather that getting in their exercise.  This carried over into the fitness activities and work activities.

One study at Harvard University found if people just showed pictures of stuff others love to do in the summer, pictures of nice weather affected productivity.  Other studies show that when conditions were hot and muggy outside or inside it reduced attention and even energy levels.

Trainers such as Don Gallucci said don't give up your gym workouts.  Even just a few days a week of strength training can keep all kinds of trouble spots toned in warmer weather.

Gallucci said, "Middle back, core, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings."

Whitney Mueller said if people don't keep up the summer workouts they lose a lot of the core strength built leading up to swimsuit season and it takes a while to get it back.

"It took me five weeks, five six weeks, it's not gonna take me a couple weeks.  It took me longer," said Mueller.

There was one good note about the summertime season of laziness.  It does appear the sunshine and longer days make people happier than when it's colder outside.  That, Cleveland Clinic experts said, can lead to impulsive decisions that were not as well analyzed or thought out.  According to the report, optimal temperatures for brain and body activity was somewhere between 72 and 81 degrees.


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