Finally, after a long, extremely hot summer, we have cold(er) temperatures, and not to ignore, lots of sky-falling water!
And since my own tap water is cold again, and I’ve been freezing my own ‘everythings’ in my shower and tub, with an occasional Pacific dip, as a reminder to a post from last year, try implementing cold temperature therapy into your weekly regimens. This is an extremely advantageous practice for a variety of reasons. Let me list some of them here:
COLD HARD FACTS . . .
– Cold temperature increases the metabolic activity of B.A.T. cells in the body. Brown Adipose Tissue are fascinating microscopic structures that become hyper-activated when exposed to cold temperatures. Activation of BAT cells accelerates and magnifies internal fuel-burning power of the mitochondria. (Refer to my earlier posts on mitochondria for overall health, performance, fat loss and body composition.)
– Babies have higher percentages of BAT cells than do adults because babies (newborns) do not have the ability to shiver. Mother Nature is always proving how beautiful she really is.
– Hibernating animals have higher BAT cells than other animals.
Get cold, and lose fat! It’s that simple.
Just being exposed to cold environments increases BAT activity. I have worked with dozens of both Winter and Summer Olympic athletes. From my experiences, Winter Olympic athletes have had the lower rates of ailments and injuries than the Summer athletes. There are many variables in this blanket statement, but I can deduce these findings to higher levels of cellular hydration, anti-inflammatory responses, and increases in thermogenesis (caloric combustion, heat production), to name a few.
I haven’t studied these company services in detail, but on the surface it seems like the Freeze-the-Fat or Cool-Sculp television ads have a point, whether they mention BAT or not. But you could save yourself thou$and$ by getting yourself cold in your own shower or bathtub, or take a dip in natural body of water. The Pacific (as of today) is in the mid-50’s.
But wait, there’s more!
– Anti-inflamatory: Cold temperature constricts tissues reducing inflammation and, after the thaw, the circulation of blood accelerates helping improve joint mobility, muscle contractibility, and the elimination of intra-cellular toxins.
– Homeostasis, Thermogenic-responce: When the body is exposed to cold temperatures the hypothalamus (brain organ) signals a ‘treat alert’ throughout the entire body commanding natural defenses to ‘warm up’, i.e., muscles shiver, teeth chatter, and excitation of nerve fibers. All these actions create friction and cellular acceleration (molecules bouncing off one another). It’s like rubbing two sticks together to start a camp fire or stirring boiling water.
FREEZE EASE: Brain ‘and’ Brawn:
Strengthening your mentally for the ‘cold plunge’ triggers incredible psychological benefits . . .
The pituitary and hypothalamus are ‘sensory’ brain organs. They (the mind) are always ‘sensing’ surrounding environments and circumstances endlessly gauging how to prepare the body to embark on change; any kind of change. The change here just happens to be plunging into cold temperatures. And any/all change is purely a shift in thought or belief.
A percentage of our population prefers and/or is only comfortable with slow transitions with many things in their lives. Instant cold is too dramatic and rapid a change for many/most, so the natural responce is to resist quick/spontaneous changes.
However, since hypothermia is not an everyday treat like it was for our caveman relatives; and programmed into our DNA just like our other ‘fat genes’, learning to enjoy a cold plunge, and enforcing a willing enthusiastic attitude every time you plunge, reprograms the brain, specifically the compartment that orchestrates change.
Although this exercise (on the surface) may seem to be purely physical, developing a rapid ready-for-change mindset that applies to other unexpected circumstances in life can be acquired with this practice.
Being forced to change quickly often creates resistance. And many changes paralyze the mind.
So in addition to the physical benefits, getting cold is also beneficial for the intellectual and emotional centers of the mind.
I cannot conclude without answering the question I’ve been hearing you asking me…
“So how long do I have to get cold John?”
My answer, “As long as you can tolerate.”
You reply, ‘Come on John Abdo, that’s all you can tell me?”
Me, “Okay, I read somewhere that you can get cold-temperature benefits in as little as 10 seconds in a cold shower…”
You say, “WOW! I think I can do that!”
Me, “Try it out. Daily is great. Consistency is the key. Take note of how super fantastic you feel ‘after’ cold therapy. Combined with your activities and eating, monitor your fat percentages, strength, flexibility, coordination. Eliminate (with the goal to forget) any mental resistance. Get cold on an empty stomach. Drink cold water after your cold plunge. Dress warm to contain heat and allow pores to close. Getting cold helps you get hot!”
Of course, this topic is a lot more complicated than listed here, but I wanted to remind you of the benefits of cold temperature therapy.
Body aside, most importantly, you’ll develop a stronger mindset earning the ability to make life-changing decisions, instantaneously. No more ‘Maybe, Maybe Not’.
“A miracle is only a miracle because the change happens instantaneously. However, if the exact same outcome or change happened slowly over time, it goes unappreciated because many minds cannot comprehend instantaneous as a natural human faculty. All occurances are miracles, even grass growing…”
I’m a Doer!