Winter is here, temperatures are dropping and all we want to do is relax indoors with a cup of hot tea and a comforting movie. However, it has been shown that the benefits of cold are numerous. Indeed, exposure to cold activates the body 's natural healing powers and brings a deep sense of well-being . Here are the main reasons and some tips from our experts to put into practice.
Why is the cold good for your health?
1. The cold stimulates our metabolism
It helps us burn fat by activating our “brown fats”. These fats are designed to generate heat and help regulate body temperature by burning our “white fats”, those which are stored in the stomach or thighs and which everyone wants to get rid of!
2. It improves the quality of our sleep
The ideal temperature for restful sleep is between 15 and 19 degrees. If it is higher, the body must make an extra effort to regulate its temperature, which can harm the quality of sleep and rest. We turn off the light and get used to low temperatures or even negative temperatures!
3. It helps our body to detoxify
It helps stimulate circulation of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that runs throughout the body , removing waste, bacteria and microbes from our body . It relies on muscle contraction to circulate and drive toxins to the elimination organs. So if you don't exercise or your lymphatic system itself becomes sluggish or inefficient, fluid stagnates, toxins build up, and you're more at risk for colds, joint pain, infections, etc. Exposure to cold causes the lymphatic vessels to contract, thereby improving the evacuation of waste.
4. It improves mood disorders
Exposure to cold increases levels of norepinephrine and endorphins, improving alertness and attention. Cold showers are therefore an effective treatment for headaches and depressive symptoms, and although depression is multifactorial, a neurobiological hypothesis is the dysregulation of several of these hormones.
How to get your body used to the cold?
There are several ways to accustom your body to the cold but also other practices such as cryotherapy.
- Take a cold shower . Go gradually: after your hot shower, lower the water temperature a little for about 30 seconds. Gradually increase the time of exposure to the cold and lower the temperature little by little. The goal would be to finish with cold water for about 2 minutes.
- Do not cover up excessively in winter.
- Do not set the heating too high. Keep the house at around 19ºC.
- Play sports outdoors in winter.
To summarize, a little daily thrill will wake you up better than a coffee, relax you more than a glass of wine, have a positive effect on your morale, increase your attention and your immunity and activate your brown fat to help you lose weight. too much. So convinced?
- Cold exposure increases adiponectin levels in men: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19303978
- Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3726164/
- Brown adipose tissue oxidative metabolism contributes to energy expenditure during acute cold exposure in humans: https://www.jci.org/articles/view/60433
- Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17993252