When winter comes most of us huddle in our homes, complain about the weather, and avoid the cold.
What if the exact opposite healed the body, improved mood, and boosted our enjoyment of winter?
Would you be willing to withstand a few seconds of cold for those benefits?
I love the primal nature of taking the cold and alchemizing it to our benefit.
We Live an Indoor Life
Think about how often you get outside in winter.
If you are like most Americans living in a Northern climate, you move from heated home to heated car to heated office to heated store to heated home. It's unlikely we get to experience much cold in the winter.
A shocking 95% of our time is lived indoors these days. This is madness. Yet it persists.
The body has the ability to create heat in the mitochondria to keep us warm all winter, but most of us never turn on this ancient heat making pathway. If we never get cold, we ever turn on the heat production.
We need to get outside.
What Happens When We Get Cold?
When we get cold for a few minutes each day, our mitochondria switch from making energy to making heat. This is something most of us never knew was possible.
This process along with the building of brown adipose tissue (BAT) otherwise known as brown fat helps us "cold adapt" so that we stay warmer all winter.
If we go beyond cold and do some cold water immersion, even for as little as 20 seconds, the body really ramps up the benefits.
Now, the hormone and neurotransmitter Norepinephrine is released. Cold, along with the release of this hormone has been shown to fight metabolic diseases, help improve brain function, increase mood and decrease feelings associated with depression and more.
Wow, that's impressive. Sure beats the winter blues if you ask me.
How to Get Cold
For most people, it's easiest to just walk outside in the cold. The trick is to wear as few clothes as possible and then reverse layer, add clothes as you get cold. This is known as a shiver walk. It can be powerful and very healing and counts as cold adaptation.
Next, you can use a bucket of ice cold water, or fill a sink with water and ice. Plunge your face into the water and hold you breath. Repeat. Do this daily and this also counts as cold adaptation.
If you want to find a local group, or a retreat, you can plunge into a frozen lake. This practice of cold water immersion is more beneficial and works faster than others to help you cold adapt and benefit from the cold practice.
We created an entire youtube playlist on cold adaptation. The first video is below, and other are found here.
How do I Learn More?
Other than the cold adapt series we created on Youtube, you can pick up my newest book and learn about the diet, cold, light, and sleep environment to create in winter that will upgrade your entire being. Support my by picking up a copy of the book here.