More and more scientific discoveries show that exposure to cold can be extremely beneficial to health. Extreme temperature variations help to optimize many biological functions. It’s that time of year, when we’re in the winter, that you can take full advantage of the many wonderful benefits that regular exposure to the cold can bring.
Cold helps activate brown fat which burns more calories
The production of brown fat (known as TAB) is one of the mechanisms by which thermogenesis contributes to weight loss and lowers your risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
TAB, which is incredibly concentrated in mitochondria, helps improve mitochondrial function. One of the physiological functions of body fat, when TAB metabolism is activated, is to serve as fuel to heat up the body. This process is due to mitochondria diverting their production of ATP, which then produce heat.
By regularly exposing yourself to the cold, you develop brown fat rich in mitochondria, which helps your body produce heat, lowers your blood sugar and lowers your insulin resistance.
Beige fat is a derivative of brown fat and is obtained from white fat. It is used to warm up the body and maintain a more active metabolism. Using fat as your primary fuel source is essential to maintaining and maintaining health.
Exposure to cold optimizes all metabolism
Exposure to cold speeds up the metabolic rate of the whole body. A study published in Bioscience Reports looked at the impact of cryotherapy – exposure to cold – on the structure of mitochondria in the BAT and muscle, both of which are thermogenic sites. Here is what this study explains: “Mitochondria are very dynamic organelles that undergo considerable remodeling in the event of an increase in the local energy demand within a cell. The architecture of mitochondria reflects their level of activity, and is therefore also an indicator of the energy status of cells.
The organs involved in thermogenesis in the body of mammals accelerate their metabolism, in response to their adaptation to cold. The TAB generates heat, just like muscles, but the two mechanisms are different. In BAT, heat generation is based on mitochondrial metabolism. In the muscles, the metabolism of the mitochondria plays only a secondary role, supplying them with energy.
In other words, mitochondrial metabolism is directly responsible for BAT thermogenesis, but only indirectly related to muscle thermogenesis. These two thermogenic processes combined allow your body to maintain a constant temperature. When your body adapts to increasingly cold temperatures, it has several effects, which culminate in an increase in your overall metabolic rate:
Oxygen consumption increases
The activity of mitochondrial enzymes of the muscles accelerates
Triggering of the FGF21 protein, the YY peptide, tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 6, which play an important role in the coordination of the various physiological adaptations to cold, and in the cross-communication between the TAB and the muscles.
- Insulin and leptin decrease
- The TAB becomes darker
- The number of mitochondria increases
- The health benefits of cold
The fact that cold-induced thermogenesis increases the number of mitochondria and improves their overall functioning explains many of the health benefits associated with cryotherapy.
For example, it has been shown that thermogenesis:
- Strengthens joint tissues
- Promotes weight loss by increasing metabolism
- Improves blood circulation
- Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety by at least 50%
- Accelerates healing of joint or muscle injuries
- Temporarily relieves arthritis pain (for about 90 minutes)
- Reduces pain and swelling caused by injuries
- Reduces your risk of cognitive decline and dementia by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves symptoms of eczema
- Enhances the benefits of physiotherapy
- Reduces migraine pain when applied behind the neck for approximately 30 minutes
- Improves muscle function and strength
- Boosts mental focus and attention by increasing the production of norepinephrine in the brain.
The level of norepinephrine can be multiplied by two by immersing only 20 seconds in water at 4°C or a few minutes in water at around 14°C.
When it comes to health, there are many very simple strategies that can have a significant impact. Regularly exposing yourself to low temperatures can catalyze many beneficial changes in your biological system that can go a long way towards optimizing your health.
Exposure to cold promotes good health and longevity
A 30-minute infrared sauna session at 80° C, followed by five round trips to an unheated swimming pool. In summer, the water is around 25° C, but it can drop to around 4° C in winter. It’s absolutely fantastic to see how good it feels to get out of the pool in winter. It’s incredibly invigorating.
Regularly exposing yourself to these kinds of extreme temperature variations will help you improve the functioning of your mitochondria, which we learned today is a fundamental aspect of good health, disease prevention and longevity. .
Remember that mitochondria are the energy generators of your cells, and if they are not functioning properly, or if damaged ones are not replaced with new healthy mitochondria, you can be sure of many health problems. will ensue. Cryotherapy is an effective form of mitochondrial therapy.
How to benefit from the cold at home
There are many methods of cold thermogenesis.
Some spas and gyms, as well as some saunas, have cryotherapy cabins.
But you can also enjoy the benefits of cold-induced thermogenesis at home:
- By applying an ice pack or a cold gel pack
- By applying an iced towel (simply wet a towel and place it in the freezer), or by massaging the area to be treated with ice cubes
- By taking a cold shower or by alternating hot and cold water in the shower
- While taking an ice bath
- Playing sports in cold weather, wearing little clothing Jumping into an unheated swimming pool after a sauna or sports session
- By bathing in the sea when the temperatures are low
- By setting the heating thermostat in your home to 15.5°