and recover faster
Deliberate cold exposure offers a vast range of benefits and is gaining well deserved notoriety in the health and fitness space. It’s been around forever as a treatment for injury and recovery. From hormonal benefits to gains in mental fortitude, intentionally and intelligently getting cold is a Lifestyle Lever that cannot go missed.
Benefits of getting cold
- INCREASED DOPAMINE
It’s true, there are very unhealthy ways to find it, but this is a very healthy way to reap its benefits. Getting cold feels amazing. Not the cold part... but the aftereffects are pretty incredible.
- REDUCED INFLAMATION
Cold has a drastic anti-inflammatory effect. It’s the same reason that you put ice on a sprained ankle. That reduction in inflammation system wide is even better, especially if you have circulation issues or chronic pain. Less inflammation is also inherently an immune booster.
- INCREASED METABOLISM
Getting cold is a workout. Don’t believe it? Try it and see if you can keep your heart rate down.
- INCREASED RESILIENCE AND DISCIPLINE
Getting cold is difficult. If you can do it regularly, you're practicing discipline that carries over into other challenging areas in your life.
- IMPROVED RECOVERY AND SLEEP
Getting cold has a circulatory benefit that aids in muscle recovery. Initially, when you get into the cold plunge, your body panics and sends additional blood away from your extremities and toward your vital organs for warmth and protection. When you get out, the super oxygenated blood that’s been hanging out around your heart and lungs returns to the extremities and brings oxygen to the muscles. Better muscle recovery also aids in better sleep. Double win.
How to get cold
- Start slowly. You’re not going to be able to jump in 33 degree water for 20 minutes if you’ve never done it before. You’re not the Liver King. Start with face dunks. Get a bowl of ice. Fill it with water. Put your face in it. Once you’ve mastered that, take a cool shower. Graduate to cold showers over time. Then, when you’re a cold shower expert, give the ice bath a whirl. Try for a minute. Work your way up.
- Get cold whenever you want, except immediately following your workout. If your goal is strength gains, then prioritize your cold exposure separate from your workout. Your body needs the inflammatory response post-workout in order to oxygenate the muscle cells and maximize hypertrophy. Waiting 90 minutes is optimal.
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