Thursday, July 23, 2009

Turn Off that Damn Air Conditioning

When we moved into our 1825 New England Farmhouse fifteen years ago, there was no central air conditioning. The window units we purchased, we soon discovered, didn't do much to cool down the place because the antiquated electrical system didn't give them enough juice to get the job done.

So, we adapted. We just got used to the heat. We got fans, got used to taking cool showers and, we spent a lot of time outdoors because it was cooler, particularly in the late afternoons and early evenings.

Outside, my son would play on the swing set, and run around in the yard (my daughter was not born yet). I'd putter around in the yard and garden. On particularly hot days, I'd take my son to the local swimming hole.

Then nine years ago we renovated and added on to the house, upgrading the electrical system and adding central air in the process.

A funny thing happened once we got the central air. We no longer went outside in the summer, we'd even declare it "to hot" to go swimming. The kids sat around the house playing video games and watching TV.

I also sat around the house. Instead of working off calories puttering around the yard, I sat on my ass watching TV (which subsequently got bigger).

Two years ago I said no more. I turned off the air conditioning on all put the hottest days (when the temperature approached 90 and above). Even then I keep the thermostat set at 85. The end result is that we all go outside again (not to mention the savings on our fuel bills).

My husband didn't like turning off the air conditioning, initially, but the soaring costs to run the system brought him quickly on board.

I bring this up today, because there's an article in the New York Times today on turning off air conditioning. You can find it here:

Besides the issues brought up in this article, I firmly believe that turning off air conditioning helps you to lose weight. First, it's the getting outside and moving issue. If you move, you burn more calories then you would sitting inside watching TV.

But, sweating also helps you to lose weight, and I mean actual weight not just water weight. Sweating helps you to detox, and when you detox, your body is more willing to shed fat. If you're one of those people who can never seem to lose weight, then I bet dollars to dimes you're someone who doesn't let them self sweat.

So, if you want to lose weight, turn off the air conditioning, get outside and move, and sweat.

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