With the mornings starting to get colder, I thought we could look into some of the reasons why actually being cold is not only ok but may even be a good idea!
Cold thermogenesis is the practice of intentionally exposing parts of the body to specific levels of cold stress. Years of research now shows this can cause significant increases in metabolism and calorie burning, can increase insulin sensitivity and help control blood glucose levels, reduce systemic inflammation, help with sleep and recovery, as well as promote overall longevity.
Can cold thermogenesis really do all this? Humans have always had to adapt to their environment. Constant temperature control is a modern, technological advancement.
The point here is that we’re arguably not meant to be at a constant, comfortable temperature, and that true, optimal health and resilience may require at least occasional cold thermogenesis practices. Some Benefits of Cold Exposure
BAT Activation Brown adipose tissue, or BAT, is primarily found around your collar bones, sternum, neck, and upper back. It is a unique kind of fat that can generate heat by burning the regular white fat (adipose tissue) found on a your stomach, butt, hips, and legs.
In most cases, you’d need to exercise or engage in caloric restriction to first burn glucose (blood sugar) and then move on to glycogen (stored liver and muscle sugar) before finally beginning to utilize fat as fuel source. But BAT can immediately and directly burn white fat.
Although BAT is found in all mammals, babies or individuals exposed to frequent bouts of cold temperature tend to have higher levels of brown fat to generate heat and help to keep them warm.
Adinopectin Activation Adinopectin is a hormone released during cold exposure that breaks down fat and shuttles glucose into muscles (which can lower blood sugar). This not only has an anabolic, muscle repair effect, but can also enhance recovery. Interestingly, low adiponectin levels have been associated with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Enhanced Immune System Cold therapy has been proven to enhance the immune system, primarily by increase levels of immune system cells that help fight disease and infection. Think of all those different cold water swimming groups the world over who claim not to get the seasonal colds and flu's.... They are not making it up!
Increased Cell Longevity Cold exposure has an effect on cellular longevity by similar mTOR pathways as caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. Basically, you can think of it as a combination of simultaneously increasing your cell’s resilience and health.
Higher Metabolism & Lower Blood Sugar Cold exposure can cause blood glucose to be burned rapidly as fuel to assist in heating the body or stored in muscles to enhance recovery or performance – before that blood sugar can potentially be converted to fat via the liver. When the metabolism of human BAT is studied using a combination of positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT), glucose uptake has been observed to increase 12-fold in BAT by exposure to cold temperatures, along with a significant increase in metabolism and energy expenditure. Watch this amazing clip of a free diver in the ice. So who is going to keep swimming through winter? Craig & Alison Milton Osteopathic Clinic 4454 4995
Emma's newsletter this month talks about 'Superior Supplements' and 'Diary Free' foods..... click here to read