Truthfully, the winter time is one of my favorite times of year because of the beautiful transformation the environment goes through. Everything changes from bountiful colors to white. From hot, sweaty and warm-winded summers to frigid, shivering, and chilly breezes. Especially here in the northeast, where we get a good swing of harsh weather, it is in everyone’s best interest to be prepared for what winter brings to the table…
But what if you could be more resilient to the cold weather, would you want to?
Well, lucky for you, that’s what this article is about; EASY ways to start strengthening your mental, immune & physical body to the cold by EXPOSING them to the COLD!
In brief, cold exposure can have incredible benefits for your:
Physical Body Goals
Immune System Health
Mental Stamina & Fortitude
& many micro level changes within your body
And here is all it takes:
Voluntarily Being Cold for as little as seconds per day
One of the biggest reasons is to activate the Cold Shock Proteins within your body. These are “specialist” proteins which perform a variety of specific, targeted functions in the body when there is a drop in core temperature 🌡️
🧠In a study on mice afflicted with an Alzheimer’s-like disease who experienced extreme levels of cold, the result was a massive production of cold shock proteins which then slowed the disease’s progression. The cold shock protein acted as a mechanism which protected and shielded important nerves in the brain from the degenerative damage that characterizes Alzheimer’s disease. This also have more immediate benefits in humans when we increase our shock protein levels, such as a boost in endurance to colder temperatures (a.k.a. becoming more winter-proof)!
Here are some ways you can start do that today:
1️⃣Take a Walk with Minimal Layers On
when headed outside to do whatever it is you do (morning/evening routine, get mail, shovel, walk the dog, de-stress) simply wear one or two less layers. I promise, you wont freeze, but the simple act of your body having to warm itself is great for your internal temperature thermostat. The first few moments will be the coldest, just remember to take slow & consistent breaths in and out. Your body will adjust quickly to keep your vital organs warm, a great survival mechanism we have that is put into action. Examples of this could be to wear gloves and a hat, but remove your jacket for a long sleeve shirt/light sweatshirt… Or to wear shorts!
2️⃣ Cold Shower
benefits can start to be achieved in as little as 10 seconds. Simply take your entire shower like usual, and before getting out switch the water to cold; does not need to be ice cold, but should be quite cool on your skin… This one can be “tough” for people to commit to, but really it is the mental psyche out you do before even experiencing a drop of cold water. Here’s a tip; don’t assume or predict what it is going to feel like, simply just breathe deeply & focus on how slowly you can.
This is for the serious people who are looking to recover like a rockstar & really be in charge of having better health. Fill your bathtub with cold water (add ice for extra credit) & simply BREATHE and SIT STILL… that’s it! Make sure the water goes all the way up to your chin, and dunk your head if you’re in it for all the benefits.
If you haven’t noticed, the common theme here is to BREATHE BETTER. That will help bring your body in a state where it will turn down the flight or fight response (a.k.a. your parasympathetic nervous system is in charge)… You should check out these articles I wrote about how breathing can be the magic piece of your fitness puzzle:
3 Ways Breathing Can Boost Your Workouts, Recovery, & Relaxation (it’s that simple!)
Move + Breathe – Stress = Freedom (Part 2)
Remember, it is the simple things such as taking cold showers 🚿, walking outdoors ⛺with minimal layers on, and ice/cold baths 🛁are some ways to activate, or better yet, INVIGORATE these proteins!
The good news? You have access to all of these things and can start doing them right now… But if you want help determining the best plan of action to do it, send me a message today!
p.s. Orca Empire Fitness was voted the Best Health Club of Fishkill, NY 2019! We are offering a special membership for anyone who is ready for an award winning customized fitness experience… click here to message us for more details.
Thank you for your time and energy today, I hope this can be of service to you… If you liked what you read, PLEASE share it with someone in your life who would enjoy it!
Wishing You Great Health & Happiness,
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