Friday, December 24, 2010

Do White People Adapt To Cold Weather better Than Black?

Do you often see white people walking outdoors or playing outdoor sports during winter with less winter clothes than blacks? Do they adapt to cold weather better than us? I find this idea laughable. This is so untrue. This is a classic case of "what you don't know will hurt you".
First of all, all human beings are created equal. Some of us though may have different talents. During our life time, we may or may not discover, develop and exploit our talents to varying levels. This however depends on several factors; culture, family, religion, ethnic background, income, education, genetics (body type), nationality and (geographic) environment. Let me clarify that no human being has control over the circumstances that they are born into.
Nevertheless, your circumstances can and will influence who or what you turn out to be in life. I term these circumstances as non-controllable. To be successful in life, you must know your non-contollable
cicumstances. If any of your non-controllable circumstances are unfavorable, do not use them as an excuse. Instead, convert them into motivation. How to do that, you may ask? Learn to discover and use your talents early. Your talents are controllable. Your talents are: mental, physical (athletic), emotional, intellectual, creative, musical and spiritual.
Okay, so what does all of this have to do with winter and how we adapt to it? The fact is we cannot control the weather but we can change the way we perceive of and interact with it. My next question is, Do you believe that white people adapt to winter better than blacks do? The answer is, yes and no. Don't be confused. You can argue that they originated from the cold climate; that they are born in countries with winter; and that black people originated from Africa where it is predominantly warm. The fact is if you're born  in a winter country, then you can naturally expect to adapt to the changes in the seasons as you grow up. I believe that this fact should apply equally to blacks as it does to whites. If a black person chooses to believe the contrary, over time, then naturally, they will not adapt well to winter. Therefore, with all things equal, a persons adaptability to winter should not be dependant upon the color of their skin but on their mindset towards the weather.
Here is how it works. The things you don't have control over, do not worry about. However, study every aspect of your surroundings. Get to know extremely well what you don't have control over. Make the non-controllables your ally.
Now, let's focus on the non-controllable, winter and the controllable, the human body. You have control over how you use your body. The more you know about your body, the more things you can do with it. All you have to do is try. However, more often than not, just casually trying is not good enough. You must strive to be the best. Knowledge is power. Therefore in order for blacks to adapt to winter as well as whites do, there are certain things you need to know about your body.
When the human body is exposed to cold temperatures, most of your blood flow concentrates towards your heart and towards your vital organs such as the brain, lungs, etc. The heart will pump less blood to your extremities such as the hands and legs. This results in your hands and feet feeling colder than the rest of your body. Therefore your extremities can feel warmer by increasing the flow of blood to them. How do you do that? you may ask. This can be done by increasing your physical activity involving your hands and feet during winter. Exercise.
Increased physical activity strengthens the heart and increases blood flow throughout the body. Exercising during winter will enhance your body's ability to stay warmer than it's surroundings. Increased efficiency, that is. It follows therefore that an increased heart rate and blood flow can make you warmer. A healthy diet, including anti-oxidants (red wine, acai berry juice, pomagranate, etc), can in fact improve blood circulation.
Most people use specialized apparel to stay warm during winter. That's ok. However the more (physically) active you are (during winter) the less dependant you become on extra winter apparel to keep warm. Don't get me wrong, human beings don't grow insulating fur or feathers as animals do, so we would always need specialized winter apparel to keep us insulated during winter. All I am saying is that you can consciously choose to harmonize your body with winter.
Let's take this discussion a step further. Your brain receives signals from active body parts and organs. It then sends signals to the heart to pump more blood to those active parts and organs. However, during periods of physical inactivity, less blood will be pumped to those inactive areas. Consequently, for those of us that choose to remain physically inactive for prolonged periods (especially during winter), you become sluggish (due to reduced blood flow) and therefore feel colder.
On the contrary, we may choose to exercise during winter. Our heart will pump more blood throughout our body. We therefore will feel less colder as a result. It is therefore obvious that by exersising (during winter), we can influence our body temperature to a degree where we are less affected by the cold. The way our body responds to cold weather is directly influenced by how much blood the heart pumps to each part of the body. Combined exercise and consistent normal outdoor avtivity make you grow more accustomed to winter to the point where you actually feel comfortable in the cold.
When we cover up our head, hands and feet, for instance, the insulating apparel (e.g hat, gloves, socks, etc.) will keep our extremities warm. However, they become dependant on the protective apparel to stay warm. As long as you keep covering them up, they will not send signals to your brain that they need more blood (from the heart). The problem arises however if you were to suddenly remove your hat or gloves, for instance, after getting accustomed to them during winter. Your extremities suddenly feel cold and you may feel the urge to cover them up again.
In order to defy the cold weather, I do not wear hat or gloves during winter unless it is frigid outside. When my finger tips feel cold, I increase the blood flow through them by shaking or rubbing vigorously together. Besides, I quite often lose one side of glove or occasionally misplace or forget a pair. Has this ever happened to you?
The hairs on your body also act as insulaters. The follicles (roots) of the hair trap heat from leaving the body. Hence the reason why your skin often gets goose bumps when exposed to cold. These goose bumps are actually blood filling the follicles causing them to expand. It's your body natural defence mechanism towards the cold. I believe the hairs on my head are adequate insulaters during winter. By not wearing  a hat, you are actually improving your head's natural defences and efficiency against the cold. Simaltaneously, you lessen your dependance on a hat while you strengthen your head's resistance.
Some people believe that a hat must be worn during winter, the absence of which can prevent head colds. This is not true. I have spent several consecutive winters without wearing hats and I have not caught any head colds. Through shear habit, I have allowed my body's natural defence to kick into high gear. This is adaptation.
We can use our mind to decide that we will keep exercising during winter or we can do the exact opposite; do nothing. We can also consciously choose to adapt to winter by interacting with it more on a day to day basis. For this reason, I play soccer outdoor during winter for as often and as long as I would during summer and I don't get sick. When I play, I wear shorts and I don't wear gloves or hat. Of course all you need to be mindful of are the temperatures that can harm your skin. For example tundra climate temperatures like thirty degrees below zero. In other words, exercise fair judgement based on good common sense.
You are responsible for training your body to adapt to winter. How you adapt has nothing to do with the color of your skin or your country of origin. You can improve your adaptation to winter by changing how you react to the weather. Do not let winter dictate your activity level. After all, while you cannot control winter, you are in control of your body.
Some people fall into the couch potato or hibernation syndrome during winter. They spend more time indoor, feel depressed, exercise less, watch more television and eat more (junk). This can be very bad for your health. In fact some people get fatter during winter. I encourage you to snap out of this behavior and take charge of your (winter) destiny. In some instances, during winter, some people work less or become less productive. This also is not good.
Over time, I am always testing my resistance to the winter by putting my body through different experiences so see how much I can endure. I don't succumb to any set routine during winter. I do normal outdoor activity as usual. Though I was born and raised in a tropical country, I have consciously raised my tolerance towards winter weather.
In fact I embrace winter each year. In my view, it is a time when the earth replenishes itself by cooling down. I believe it cools people off; maybe it keeps the crime rate down too, you never know. I therefore urge you to make winter your friend. Embrace it with open arms as an integral part of mother nature. Think positive towards it and not negative.
During winter I observe white people supporting their teams outdoor in the cold weather. Some male fans even do it without shirts. White soccer moms and dads send their kids outdoor to play and come out to support while some black parents refuse to let their kids play during winter, complaining that it's too cold.
If white people embrace and adapt to winter, then so should we. No excuses. By making winter an excuse, we are letting valuable time go by to become better at what we do while white people are getting ahead.
The time is now to change our mindset towards the weather. History has shown that the (winter) weather has influenced man's destiny. White people have lived in winter for as long as man has been around. Black people however have lived longer in tropical climates. My question is, has winter given white people a greater sense of urgency and creativity due to a desire to stay warm? And have black people become more laid (creatively lazy?) back over time because mother nature provided free warmth? Necessity is the mother of invention. We therefore need to get with the program and stop making  silly "winter excuses".
All I am asking of you is adapt to something that you have no control over, winter, and to take control over something that you can, your own body (and mind). It's that simple. White people have had a 5000 year head start on us (or for however long man has been around) so we have a lot of catching up to do.
I believe that free warmth for black people, over time, has been a blessing from mother nature. However, it has also given black people a sense of false (economic) security. This sense of false security is in fact a mindset adapted by blacks that must be changed if we are to improve our competitiveness in today's world. Making excuses during winter is in fact, just an indicator of a deeper underlying problem. The problem of time wasting and an unwillingness to put the creative power of our minds to work and to apply it to enhance our everyday lives.
Finally, for all the black people out there that are doing their thing even during winter, without time for excuses, I tip my hat to you. After all, I truly believe that we are all equal and that armed with the right knowledge and attitude, we can do great things together.
I urge you to change your mindset towards winter, come on outside, take a deep breath, think positive, be productive, and have fun. Live life to the fullest; even during winter; black or white; rich or poor. And remember, it's all about mind over matter and not the color of your skin.

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