“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it you will never know that there is an ocean, a sea”
Thanks to Wim Hof, Jack Kruse, Dave Asprey and others, cold exposure has become a popular topic in the natural health community.
Cold thermogenesis is the proper term to describe exposing oneself to cold temperatures, ideally between 10-13c (50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit). Any drop in temperature is beneficial to the body, even if it is one degree cooler.
The Benefits of Cold Therapy
- Aids fat loss: Humans have stores of active brown fat tissue (BAT). Unlike white fat, which stores energy and comprises most body fat, brown fat is active in burning calories and using energy. BAT can essentially turn calories from food into heat. Exposure to cold temperatures leads to increased levels of adiponectin, a protein that increases fat burning.
- Fights inflammation
- Increases lifespan
- Speeds Recovery
- Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
- Improves sleep quality
- Strengthens your immune system
- Enhances Detox
On this site I state in the success page that I have had few ‘eureka moments’ in my journey – cold therapy is one of the few! While I have only done full ice baths a couple of times the effects are almost instant and incredible – energy, sleep and ‘feel good’ all improved – not to mention that living in a tropical country its incredibly refreshing 🙂 A goal for this year is buying a bath just for this.
Programs such as Wim Hof (see side bar) can take you through the “formalities” and steps towards full ice baths and exposure to longer periods of colds – or read up online yourself.
- As a starter try a few seconds at the start of your morning shower with the water as cold as you can manage – work up to a minute or more. You will probably find the majority of your showers are ‘cold’ once you adapt
- Use an ice bucket/bowl for your face or feet before bed – again start with a few seconds and work your way up
- Fill a bath with cold water and ice and see how long you can settle for – put on a good podcast if you can settle in 🙂
- If you are near the ocean and can manage cold dips give it a go
If you are having a full ice treatment
- Ensure a full night of sleep the night before
- Better not to drink (alcohol) the night before
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid carbs, grains and sugars before / after
Plunge sample –
- 3 minutes in the sauna at 90 degrees celsius
- 2 and 1/2 minutes in the cold plunge with even my head in the cold water (was around 12 deg celsius = 53 farenhiet)
- 5 minutes sauna
- 4 minutes cold plunge
- 5 minutes sauna (face away from any fake light and close your eyes whenever possible)
- 10 minutes cold plunge with head out of water and lots of Wim Hoff style deep breathing.