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I decided to develop cold tolerance just for the hell of it, to see how well I can adapt myself to colder temperatures. Like walking barefoot (okay, or wearing VFFs), or choosing to walk at all, or fasting, it's a way to push my body--and my mind-- in directions that are all too easy to avoid.
As humans, I think seeking comfort and convenience is perfectly natural. But warmth, transportation, and food are generally pretty easy to come by in my culture, which for the last century has been increasingly built around comfort and convenience. Most people don't even think about it; I know I take it for granted far too often.
I agree with you. However, take care not to add too much stress. If your general life stress from jobs/relationships/etc. is in check, you're likely going to be fine. But I myself and many others have pushed into what a lot of people call adrenal fatigue from pushing too hard in too many areas at once. It pays to be kind to yourself at least occasionally.
In the last few years, I've managed to cut the major stressors out of my life. The biggest one died last year. I've never had any success at masochistically pushing myself to the point of pain and misery. For me, pushing my limits and expanding the boundaries of what's possible has to happen in a way that feels natural--as if it's the next perfectly obvious step to take.
I don't see my body as something that has to be conquered, any more. I occasionally fast for longer than my normal IF period, but I never plan to. I'm simply not hungry, so rather than eat out of habit I wait until genuine hunger returns and then feed it what it wants. I don't decide how long the fast will last, either--my body gets the final word on that.
And expanding my cold tolerance is the same--if I'm truly uncomfortable and all I can focus on is how cold I am, I'm going to pull the sweater out of the bottom of my bag and put that sucker on.
I did spend years seeing my body as something that had to be beaten into shape. The results were inevitably dismal, demoralizing failures. Learning to listen to it, treat it as an ally, and have fun getting it to do new things has been far less stressful and more productive.
That was in response to post: can I replace walking with cold shower? I have assumed it was in an effort to lose weight. Cold thermogenesis is most commonly used as a way to achieve leanness to stimulate metabolic process.
And, interestingly enough, I was trying to make the point that other things impact the leanness much more than climatic conditions. Like access to food and the skeletal structure.
Anyway, onward with your cold exploits, don't mind me.
All you people who can walk around in shorts and a tshirt all fall make me super jealous! Once it gets below 70 degrees Fahrenheit I am in at least pants/tights and long sleeves. Unless it's not sunny, in which case I wear a sweater or jacket as well. Below 55 = coat, scarf, possibly gloves. I have naturally quite low blood pressure and Raynaud's as well, though so that probably has something to do with it.
No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.
The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.
So some thoughts on CT and BAT (brown adipose tissue). It seems CT stimulates BAT and can create more of it. It appears that BAT is mostly located in the chest, neck, and collar bone areas. Keeping these areas cold is key to BAT activation. Once BAT is activated, it burns WAT to create heat.
So would this make sense: when outside in the cold, wear pants, shoes/VFF's, gloves, and a hat, but no shirt? (No joke lol).
Thoughts with cold showers, I think aiming the water directly at these BAT areas should be the priority.
I prefer to activate the mammalian breathng response by moving my face into the shower stream just as it drops to a new low temperature, repeatedly. I don't know the science, but when I do that - and control my breathing - I just feel really calm and solid. Don't know how else to describe it. I also seem to perceive my skin as warmer after my shower. But I'm still an icicle to other people...is that normal? Should I be feeling warm to other people?
As long as you're warm, then it shouldn't matter. The dive response also slows down your heart rate, which is why you may feel this way. I like the response from cold water on my face. I think with that cold water you're also activating the BAT, which is why you feel warm. Not sure why others think you're cold...
I'm in the same boat as Elizabeth, I have really poor circulation in my feet and hands (family history of fibromyalgia) and a very low metabolism (or "efficient" hehe). However, I'm able to comfortably tolerate very hot water (ie Japanese baths, lobster pink skin).
Also I find on IF days I really need to bundle up. I do cool showers (not COLD) after working out and my body temperature is up. They feel so great and refreshing. Also if I'm feeling chilly, I'll take a hot shower until I'm warmed up and gradually drop the water temperature to much cooler... then I'm warm when I get out of the shower.
The only time I've managed cold showers is the summer I first moved to NYC from Seattle and none of the people I was staying with had air conditioning. I'd never felt so hot in my life!!!
• Goal is to have goosebumps but not be shivering for at least 30 minutes a day, preferably while walking outside.
• 3-4 cold showers a week after fasted workouts.
• I may try submerging my face in cold water on days I do not take cold showers.
• It definitely subdues hunger, HOWEVER, when hunger does return, I feel I need, almost crave, SFA's and protein, no carbs.
• Toes get cold, but take longer to go numb.
• It does take a little longer to get goosebumps then when I first started.
Well, it's -17 C with a windchill this morning here. Chipped lips and dry skin all over, of course. 'Tis the season for freezing one's butt off...sorry for cold adaptation. Walking by the ice-tracks... erm, the sidewalks in the snow to avoid breaking a leg had started too. Gods, how I hate this city and the winter.
How much of cold tolerance is genetic, how much is adaptation and how much is simply diet?
For instance I am half Scottish and grew up in Scotland. I regularly went outside with minimal clothing, for instance only wearing a shirt in under 10 C weather. I'm in Singapore now and I notice that my skin is often warmer than my friends, especially noticeable when coming out of AC, there's tends to be cold where as I'm warm.
I've done exercise most of my life and been on a 'high' carb, sustainable calories diet. So how much do all these factors play? For instance people that are calorie restricting tend to feel colder.