“Summer bodies are built in winter” … [Groan].
We’ve all read the personal trainer's favourite bumper sticker but it doesn’t make it any easier to crawl out from under your warm blanket when it’s 5am and 4 degrees.
Especially if you're a cold frog.
But before you roll back over for just 10 more minutes, it sounds like your way-too-energetic-for-5am personal trainer just might be right.
Oh hold on - incase you’re wondering where we’re going with this - let’s clear something up first:
This blog post is NOT about the quest for the perfect Instagram bikini body. That’s not our style. It’s about how the cold gives us the opportunity for a body hack which has some cool health benefits - pun intended ;)
Embrace the cold when you’re working out
We’re all too used to being warm and cosy. It’s just so niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice being all snuggled up. But if you do manage to fight the blanket and win, there’s a definite upside.
If you work out and get sweaty when it’s cold, you burn more energy.
Your body needs to use more energy to keep warm so you’re getting more bang for your sweaty buck. A study in the Netherlands found that by being cold can increase the rate of energy burn by up to 30%.
And more energy burnt = more fat loss.
Have you heard about white fat and brown fat yet? Or is this a bit of a “what the?!” moment?
It’s super interesting.
Without getting too far into it,brown fat is good fat which burns energy and regulates body temp.White fat is bad fat which leads to disease. Just think brown fat is an avocado and white fat is a deep fried mars bar.
When you’re cold, your brown fat increases and white fat decreases. Winning!
Being cold prevents colds
In high school Aaron and a mate challenged each other to not wear a jumper all winter so it was easier to go surfing in the cold water. They had no idea they were doing a human cold experiment… it might have improved their marks :)
It did help them handle winter surf sessions but the other upside was that they didn’t get sick all winter.
That’s because by exposing yourself to colder temps, you can actually boost your immune system.
Cold can stress your body out just enough to get it working on creating more white blood cells and more immune cells. And they’re your body’s defense against colds and viruses.
Go for cold. Not freezing.
Now. To reap the benefits of being cold youdon’t need to have an ice bath or go skiing in a bikini. You just need to let youself not be so warm and cosy.
Turn the heater down, sleep with one less blanket, wear one less layer, go for an early morning walk without the big jacket or have a 1 minute cold shower.
Yes, a cold shower in winter! Sounds crazy, but … maybe it’s just bad in your head and you could train your mind to enjoy it! That’s one school of thought anyway ;)If you really want to learn more about the benefits of being cold then check out a cool dudeWim Hof aka the Iceman.