Snow Day

It appears that all the ice we’ve been watching in Maine, and probably NH, is now covered with varying thicknesses of snow. Some wet, some dry. Most of the ice is now too thick to be submerged by these few inches so It’s a matter of waiting for other kinds of recovery.We had a great three days on Great Pond, two of which were cold. Sub zero wind chill is only fun if you’re sailing in it, and now here comes word that it may actually be good for you. We know it works wonders on mental health!
This is about the benefits of immersion in water, but maybe really cold air whizzing by your body at 50mph is just as good.

Your awesome body fact

Your body gets a free-zing from being freezing!

Your thyroid is your body’s thermostat. When you get cold it signals your brown fat cells to metabolize energy stored in your white fat to produce heat. This is called cold thermogenesis, or CT. Your thyroid also produces hormones that influence how your blood vessels dilate, which in turn effects how much heat can escape your body. This is why people with hypothyroidism commonly suffer from cold intolerance. Recent studies link our modern indoor lifestyle to a rise in thyroid dysfunction because our bodies rarely experience natural temperature fluctuations anymore. The thermostats of our homes and businesses keep us at, or around a comfortable 68 degrees and without hormesis (beneficial exposure to environmental stress in the form of heat and cold) our thyroid loses it’s capacity via the old “use it or lose it” principal.

What else can CT do for your body?

  • CT stimulates cold shock proteins which repair brain synapses, improving your ability to combat cognitive decline and memory loss.
  • CT stimulates norepinephrine release which increases natural killer cell production and interleukin-6, improving your body’s immune system.
  • CT increases your white blood cell count and T-lymphocytes which combat cancer cells.
  • CT produces more mitochondria through mitochondrial biogenesis.

If you want to practice CT, be gradual. Start with a 15-30 second cold rinse at the end of your normal shower, or simply submerge your feet in cold water for 30 seconds. As with any practice, be measured as you build up exposure time or area; your body will adapt at it’s own pace.

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