The first time I heard about Wim Hof, I thought he was insane.
If you don’t know who Wim Hof is – that’s a guy who spends hours swimming in frozen lakes and claims that cold exposure is good for your health.
Well, it turns out that Wim Hof is NOT insane.
Cold exposure has a long list of health benefits and you don’t have to spend long stretches of time in frozen lakes to get the benefits.
It’s enough to take a cold shower or to jump in a cold tub for 10-15 minutes.
So here are the most common benefits of cold exposure that are reported among those who practice it on a regular basis.
1. Reduced inflammation in joints and ligaments
Professional athletes often use cold tubs to speed up their recovery.
Because cold exposure increases the level of adiponectin, a hormone that combats inflammation.
That’s how the athletes make sure their joints and ligaments recover amazingly fast after long and strenuous competitions.
2. Increase in cognitive ability including focus and alertness
This benefit can be felt immediately after the cold exposure.
It feels like drinking a strong coffee but without all the negative side effects – it just wakes you up and helps you get ready for the day.
3. Fat loss
There are several biological mechanisms through which cold exposure can help you burn fat.
First, when you’re exposed to cold, you shiver.
And shivering is, of course, a physical activity so you burn calories while doing that.
Second, your body is also generating heat to warm itself from the inside.
Again, it does that by burning calories.
Third, the cold exposure increases the activity in brown fat tissue which is responsible for turning the calories you eat into energy and heat.
Fourth, it speeds up your metabolism by up to 80% [Ouellet V, et al. Brown adipose tissue oxidative metabolism contributes to energy expenditure during acute cold exposure in humans. J Clin Invest. 2012;122(2):545–552.]
So if you’re consistently taking cold showers while also being in the calorie deficit, you’re GUARANTEED to lose fat at a relatively fast rate (compared to those who’re just dieting.)
However, if you think that taking a cold shower is too uncomfortable, all these benefits mean very little to you.
The good thing is, you don’t have to go all-in right from the get-go.
For example, you can take a warm shower, finish it off with 30 seconds of a cold shower, and increase the cold exposure next time for 10 seconds until you can comfortably do it for 10-15 minutes.
Believe me, you’re going to feel fantastic after that!
I started by taking baby steps and now I can lay in the cold tub for 10 minutes without flinching.
So let me know if you try it out – always happy to read about your experiences.
Stay fit my friend,
Founder & CEO