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Change Your Location, Change Your… Weight?

With the weather changing, here is something to think about…

Is the climate or city you live in affecting your weight and health?

No, this isn’t an excuse or myth. There are certain built-in advantages in certain climates and cities.

Cold weather:

If you live in Alaska, Russia, or anywhere cold, you might have a better chance of losing weight since your energy levels are up due to your body needing to keep its core temperature up. Based on new evidence, “temperature training” suggests that normal exposure to mildly cold air may help people lose weight because the human body withstands the cold weather by shivering, which then produces heat, burning calories in the process. 

Warm weather:

If you live somewhere hot like Miami or Israel, or even in your warm and cozy overheated office, chances are you’re going to be controlling the room temperature to your level of comfort. Since the majority of us are indoors 90% of the time, paying attention to the temperature of our environment is important. Sitting in a room where you are super comfortable might cause a rise in obesity rates. How you may ask? Since you won’t be sweating at an ambient temperature and will be comfortable at the temperature of your choice of room, you might feel the need to snack here and there and even not drink enough water.

One actually might think that they can lose weight quicker since they are sweating in the hot weather; but losing weight through sweat means losing water, not fat. However, you can lose more weight in warm weather if you exercise more and eat a healthy diet rather than maintaining the same habits. You also might have more access or even motivation to eat healthy in the hot weather, such as grabbing a smoothie, a salad, or low-calorie ice cream in the park.

What about other perks in the city I live?

Turns out that location matters when it comes to health. Some cities encourage health and wellness by providing nutritious food, and recreational services, and even keeping healthcare costs affordable and attainable. However, many cities fail to take care of health and wellness, leading to a declining life expectancy and an increase in health care costs. In addition, it can be hard and confusing for a person to determine which sources of health are legitimate and what is a scam. Overall, it seems that most cities with hot weather have the highest rates of healthy eating. Some examples are Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. 

Want to live longer? Consider moving to one of these cities:

In terms of longevity and where the world’s healthiest people live, there are “5 blue zones”. They include:

1. Ikaria, Greece

2. Okinawa, Japan

3. Ogliastra Region, Sardina

4. Loma Linda, CA

5. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

What they all have in common is consuming healthy foods such as vegetables, healthy fats, grains, and nuts, and not too many dairy or meat products. A city like Oglaiastra Region in Sardinia consumes a low-protein diet, which is associated with lower rates of cancer, diabetes, and lower rates of death for people under 65 years old. Also, in Loma Linda, California; residents live 10 more healthy years than the average American with their diet. Some even have deep social networks and access to health facilities, such as Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.

On the contrary, some cities in China and the majority of cities in India such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Mongolia have either a high poverty rate or a fairly low income. They experience health issues due to limited access to healthy foods and air pollution. In regards to pollution, there is an estimate of 3.8 million premature deaths that are caused by air pollution. Some effects of air pollution are respiratory illnesses, reduced lung function, and cancers.

Air pollution and obesity are linked to one another. Scientists found that exposing laboratory rats to polluted air caused weight gain and other health issues such as lung inflammation, cholesterol issues, tissue damage, and metabolic problems. Seeing those negative effects just in rats alone makes you wonder what years of breathing pollution does to us as humans.

As we know, health ultimately comes from Hashem, and no matter where we live we need to do our part and maintain a good and healthy way of eating and being active.