“We have become alienated from nature. But the cold is capable of bringing us back to what we once had lost.” – Wim Hof
Are you a human? I certainly hope so.
As a human your body was designed to survive and thrive in the natural world just like the old hunter gatherer tribe people.
These people were exposed to heat and the cold of the natural environment. To get clean they would have to find a cold river or lake and use the water to wash or swim.
NOW all the environmental aspects of our lives have changed. Our bodies are not used to the technologies and new environmental comforts.
Scientists argue that a lack of this hunter gatherer environmental exposure shows up in our biology as disease.
Hence, a strong justification for Ice Bathing and getting cold.
Article Quick Glimpse
The cold is a beast it can bring your tremendous benefits but will also bite you if you do not respect it.
If you value the benefits of the cold and you have a goal to spend some time calm in icy water, it is important to learn how your mental strength plays a large role. Especially on your first time.
No matter who you are, submerging yourself in cold icy water is hard.
You will fight resistance getting in for a cold soak. Human instinct shocks you to get out and it's your challenge to defeat it.
As you adapt to the cold the less impact the cold has as you build up resilience to it.
The more frequent you get cold the more your body becomes “cold adapted”.
The more cold adapted you are, the more benefits you receive from the cold and the greater your resilience.Even then though, there is still and will always be a level of difficulty.
Strong tips to understand before submerging yourself in cold water:
Recognise that sensation is just sensation not good nor bad
Remain equanimous (calm and composed) as soon as the thought crosses your mind to get out, you will start to build up reasons and instinct to
Therefore, it is important to not label the cold anything, purely sensation
A cold plunge gives you a beautiful opportunity to put yourself in a controlled stressed environment to see where your mind goes
Listen to your body, when it’s time to get out, get out. Nothing should be forced.
Try not to get out at a certain time, if you are jumping out when the clock hits a specific second or minute you are training yourself to force and push your way through. Get to a rough time you desire, take a couple breaths and when you feel calm then get out. That will train your body and mind to be more willing to accept the sensations next time.
Do not stay in more than 20 minutes, 20 minutes is where mild hyperthermia starts
Cold is Gold
Below is a list of truths about getting cold.
According consistent practice offers many potential benefits, including:
Boosting your immune system
Improving your mental well-being
Increasing willpower and resilience
Increasing your energy
Increasing blood flow
Managing some fibromyalgia symptoms
Relieving some symptoms of depression
Increases sex hormone 🍆
When we get cold our bodies seek ways to keep warm, therefore, our bodies dip into our fat supply for fuel.
Some researchers believe that cold or heat exposure is the most energy burning process there is. It makes sense as when we exercise…...we get hot and our body has to use energy to cool us down.
Brown Fat To Burn Fat
Studies have shown that cold temperatures activate brown fat metabolism.
What is brown fat and what is this metabolism?
There two types of fat:
White fat known as white adipose tissue and,
Brown fat known as brown adipose tissue
White fat is the fat you accumulate from eating too much basically. It stores up in large soft droplets. It accumulates around the body usually around the stomach area or legs and also around your organs used as insulation. Obviously, too much white fat is unhealthy and leads to obesity.
Brown fat is much more dense. It is rich with iron cells and stores itself predominantly in your upper back area. When brown fat is activated it burns off by using energy and burning calories WITHOUT shivering. Brown fat is activated through getting cold, therefore, submerging your upper back in cold water gives you the most brown fat benefits.
Hence, brown fat is highly regarded for treating metabolic syndromes and obesity. Activation of brown fat basically initiates thermogenesis (your body burning calories to get its core temperature to normal). The longer the cold the more the brown fat is activated.
Brown fat is good. You want brown fat and you want to use it to burn off white fat.
Women start shivering at a higher experimental temperature than men.
Women feel colder and less comfortable than men during the same cooling protocol.
What is shivering? Shivering is physical twitching the body uses to get warm.
Shivering fat burning effects:
Shivering and getting cold releases a hormone that literally tells the body to burn fat
15 minutes of cold exposure can have the same calorie burning effect as working out for 1 hour…… how good! Just be sure to keep hydrated.
What does it do?
It is a process that burns plenty of calories.
Shivering also stimulates the activation of brown fat.
Once brown fat is stimulated non-shivering thermogenesis occurs.
This is when the brown fat uses energy and burns of white fat to generate heat.
Shivering stimulates a hormone called irisin which also induces fat burning.
15 minutes of shivering in the cold has the same effect as exercising for an hour.
Shivering activates the immune system slightly.