The month of June has arrived and it’s hot. 🥵
We only just turned on the air again last Friday — after running a fan for a few evenings, we realized that the furnace was still set to heat, rather than to cool.
The week before, the indoor temperature had dropped to the upper 60s and I turned on the heat after I found Scooter, our cat, burrowed under the top two comforters on the bed in the middle of the afternoon. He’s a little heat-hog in the winter and early spring, sometimes sitting directly next to the heat vents in various rooms and sunbathing in windows or close by whenever the sun is shining in at the right angle.
…And then the temperature will shift, and he’ll find a spot with a cool breeze and sprawl on the carpet as if he’s on a beach. He used to lounge under the bedroom ceiling fans in the summer, but he’s chosen a spot at the top of the stairs now that we’ve replaced the fans with new light fixtures.
Scooter adapts to the changes in his environment by changing his behavior — or attempting to influence our behavior (“meow” can be quite effective at times…and K and I are quite fond of him, so there’s that). Though Scooter is an indoor cat, his behavior changes as the seasons change, and we observe this in where he chooses to sit or nap, as various rooms become more or less comfortable than in the preceding season, and how much he sheds, among other observations.
Similarly, we, too, may adapt to the changes in our lives — seasonal or otherwise — by changing our behavior.
When we’re talking about fitness and weather conditions, we might adjust the time we exercise (both the time of day and duration), the activities we choose, and the attire we wear. We might also adjust the frequency and intensity of our workouts.
You might exercise with friends more often in warmer weather or spend more time in the air conditioning because it’s too hot to move outside. Or you might prefer to play team sports during one season and prefer to exercise on your own at other times during the year.
When you continue to put yourself into new environments and try new activities, you will learn to adapt, building your resilience.
Further, when you continue to challenge yourself with a well-rounded exercise program, your body will adapt. You will become stronger if you lift heavier weights regularly. You will become more flexible if you spend more time stretching. You will adapt to exercising in the heat after spending time doing just that.
You will also become more confident, as you realize that you are capable of setting and reaching new fitness goals.
Note that the improvements you may observe as a beginner may be greater than the improvements a more seasoned athlete may achieve in the same period of time. As a beginner or intermediate exerciser, you are further away from your personal peak fitness level than an advanced exerciser would be.
How has your fitness improved since you started exercising regularly? Are there any goals you are working toward now that you wouldn’t have considered a month or year ago? How about five years ago?
My guess is that you have come a long way from where you were when you started. (Nice work!)
There may come a time when you won’t necessarily see any noticeable improvements even as you continue to exercise, though the age-related declines in physical fitness that we see in society are not a given at a particular age. Using your body will help you to maintain your fitness as you get older. The longer you can move well and keep moving well, the better, as the odds are good that you will be healthier and happier as a result.
Wouldn’t you agree?