Page Description: For people who have already started their fitness journey, there are times when everything seems to pause. You stop seeing significant changes in your body, and sometimes you lack the motivation to continue. That might seem normal, but did you ever think that you are feeling that way because of the climate change in your environment? You probably never thought of that.
Studies have shown a link between climate change and bodybuilding. So, in this article, we’ll be looking at climate change and its effect on bodybuilding.
What is climate change?
Climate change refers to the progressive change in the overall weather condition of a place over a long period. A perfect example of climate change is the effect of global warming on our environment. You find out that over time, the average temperature of the atmosphere is increasing, and it is getting hotter than normal. Recently we have experienced more heat waves, storms, increased snow, and rising sea level, amongst others. These are all effects of climate change.
Most factors causing climate change are manmade. Climate change results from human activities that affect the natural blanket protecting us from high solar radiation. These activities include deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels leading to the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Does climate change affect bodybuilding?
Yes, climate change affects bodybuilding. Our environment is not the only thing feeling the impact of climate change. Our forests, the animals, our crops, and even our bodies are all being affected.
As long as you are alive, you will always be exposed to the negative effects of climate change. Not only that, your internal and external body activities are all affected. That’s to say, from body temperature to strength and endurance all are affected. So, if these activities are affected, it automatically affects your bodybuilding journey.
Seasons and bodybuilding
Climate change doesn’t just happen, it’s progressive. A good way to understand climate change is to observe the seasons of the year. As the years go by, you find out that the temperature of each season is becoming more extreme. During the winter, it’s snowing heavily more than ever before and when it’s summer, it gets hotter.
Temperature affects bodybuilding, which means that each season affects our bodybuilding activities like workouts. Let’s take a look at each of the four seasons and how they affect bodybuilding.
The spring season comes after winter. It is warm but still somehow cold because there are still traces of the winter season. When it comes to bodybuilding, the spring season is the period to cut down fat and calories. The winter is usually very cold which makes it easy to accumulate fats and calories. However, engaging in the cutting down program –eating fewer calories than you burn can be helpful. You have to be careful not to lose your muscles alongside the fat and calories.
The start of winter is usually cold. Hence, you don’t have to rush to lose fat. Instead, you should focus on doing more cardio. It is better to lose fat with cardio –high-intensity cardio– than high-intensity anaerobic exercises, during the spring season. You don’t have to exercise for a long time, to avoid losing your muscles alongside the fats.
If you are weight lifting, the heavyweight within the 4 to 6 rep range is recommended as it helps to build strength and burn more calories than less weight with higher rep ranges. The spring season can be attributed to the weightlifting season because it’s the period people work on their bodies in preparation for summer. More cardio and weight lifting help to shed the fat that accumulates during winter, build muscles, and tones the body.
Summer is the season that comes after spring, and it should be the peak season of your training. This is because it’s the show-off season for bodybuilders. Why are you building your body if not to stay fit and do some show-off? Well, you might deny it, but it’s a fact. You can be toning those abs and building those muscles only to hide them in clothes.
Summer is usually very hot and that’s why you find a lot of people at the beach, lake, river, and swimming pool, amongst others. And like earlier mentioned, you’ll most likely be put in a position to show some body parts.
During the springtime, it’s best recommended to alternate between volume training and heavy weight training as it helps to also shed fat and increase body strength. Cardio exercises are also great during the springtime as most of them are fun activities like running, swimming, and cycling, amongst others.
The high temperature experienced during summer causes dehydration and less muscle endurance, causing the person to feel tired. So, working out might be a bit challenging. It is during this time that you have to motivate yourself to keep pushing and not give up.
In as much as the spring season is a time to evaluate the results of your workout over the past year, it doesn’t mean you should stop working out. You’ve got to do some more work. Your workouts might not be regular, but 2 times weekly will help you not to go stale.
Fall is the bulking season for bodybuilders. Bulking involves eating more calories than is needed while working on your muscle. This can be tricky because you might end up accumulating more fat. To avoid gaining more fat when bulking, you can clean the bulk by eating food with less fat or healthy fat. You can eat proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
The fall season is cool especially when the leaves start to fall. The weather is warm but cool because it’s the pre-winter season and this makes exercising more enjoyable. You can choose to alternate between high and low frequency and high and low volume exercises.
The fall season is also an opportunity to try out new exercises or a variety of exercises. However, it’s important to avoid over-training or burning out. The tendency to overtrain is high during the fall season, but you should understand that when it comes to bodybuilding, more is not always better.
Winter is probably the best time or season for bodybuilding. This is because the weather is cold and you feel less dehydrated. Also, the heart does less work during cold times and your body spends less energy, which means that you can work out for a longer period during the winter season.
Since you lose less water during winter, it means you can build more muscles with less stress. Also, winter is great for bulking, which contributes to helping you build more muscles. That’s why winter is regarded as the best month for bodybuilders.
Effect of climate change on bodybuilders
- It can cause heat stress which leads to other health conditions or diseases
- Increased heat waves that come with dehydration and other attributes that affect our workout
- Reduced body endurance. The body gets tired easily which will slow down your workout progress. It’ll also be challenging to do very high-intensity workouts, lift heavy weights, and exercise for a long period.
- Increase stress on the heart which then leads to the malfunction of other vital organs of the body.
- Hyperthermia refers to an abnormal increase in blood temperature. Hyperthermia can lead to heat cramps, stroke, and other critical health conditions.
How to make the most of climate change
At this stage, climate change is beyond our control. We can only work towards reducing our contribution to the factors causing it. This means that bodybuilders will always be prone to the negative effect of climate change. In this case, we have to find ways to manage or reduce the impact of climate change on our bodies.
One of the best ways to protect ourselves from the impact of climate change is to choose the best time of the day to exercise. The mornings and evenings are the best recommended time for exercise. During this time, atmospheric heat is at its lowest level, and the body will be more receptive to exercise.
Another way to manage climate change as a bodybuilder is to stay hydrated always. First, staying hydrated will help to improve heart conditioning, regulate blood temperature, lubricate the joints, energize the body, and maximize performance.
Outdoor workouts can be interesting because you are drawn to the beauty of nature. However, to reduce the impact of the changing atmospheric condition, you can alternate between outdoor and indoor exercise. You can set up your home gym or register for a public gym. The benefit of indoor workouts is that the room temperature can be regulated. When the temperature is extreme for you outside, you can switch to your gym instead of not exercising at all.
While we work towards achieving our bodybuilding goals, we should understand that the environment plays a significant role in our fitness journey. The effect of climate change on our bodies, and fitness activities might not get better as long as climate change is concerned, and this calls for concern. If you are looking towards better productivity in your fitness journey, you need to prioritize contributing to environmental sustainability. This helps to regulate the effect of climate change on the environment and reduce the impact of climate change on your body.