News & Views

Cold showers make you fit, healthy and slim

by Powernet - May 4, 2016

 Is getting up in the morning, turning on the shower and ravelling in those marvellously hot drops that engulf your body within seconds, part of your morning ritual? Then you’re about to break it. Yes, we all are to take the 30-day cold shower challenge and we’re keen to get you on board as well. This is why and how:

Tackle the Mental Challenge in the Morning

The main hurdle is overcoming the mental challenge that is involved as most people won’t think it tempting to wake up to cold water on their body. "The point is that starting your morning by tackling challenges head-on will help encourage similar behaviour throughout the day," author Carl Richards recently wrote in the New York Times. "And, it turns out, there's a wealth of research to back up this idea as well. People who do hard things first tend to procrastinate less and get more done, according to Brian Tracy's book, Eat That Frog."

And really: A two minute cold shower or a dip in the ocean is all you need!

Shivering Burns Your Fat Cells

Then there’s this study from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research which found out that shivering is stimulating the conversion of energy-storing ‘white fat’ into energy-burning ‘brown fat’. This makes brown fat a potential therapeutic target against obesity and diabetes. Around 50 grams of white fat stores more than 300 kilocalories of energy. The same amount of brown fat could burn up to 300 kilocalories a day, a press release said in 2014, when the Institute’s endocrinologist Dr Paul Lee published a study he had conducted during his time at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington.

Dr Lee was able to confirm that during cold exposure and exercise, levels of the hormone irisin (produced by muscle) and FGF21 (produced by brown fat) increased. Specifically, around 10-15 minutes of shivering resulted in a rise in irisin similar to an hour of moderate exercise. “We speculate exercise could be mimicking shivering – because there is muscle contraction during both processes, and that exercise-stimulated irisin could have evolved from shivering in the cold,” Dr Lee said.

Dr Paul Lee follows his advice himself. He’s been taking cold showers in the morning for years now. And according to Lee he can thank this habit for being as fit and slim as he is.

Let’s Take the 30-Day Cold Shower Challenge

Have we convinced you yet? Then take the 30-day cold shower challenge with us and follow us on our BLOG or on FACEBOOK to see how we’re going ourselves. Don’t forget to leave a comment – we’re curious to hear about your journey and experience as well.

Read more on:

http://www.garvan.org.au/news/news/evidence-that-shivering-and-exercise-may-convert-white-fat-to-brown

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/business/the-benefits-of-getting-an-icy-start-to-the-day.html?_r=0

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