“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest,
strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot beapplied.”
_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed
health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.
Monday. A new week means a new health hack to dive into. What’s the dealwith ice and cold exposure? Cryotherapy, icing after workouts, icing afterinjury, cold water plunges? So many different ways to get a little coldexposure. But what does the science say? Let’s dive in.
“Alexa–Order Me A Chest Freezer”
So before you ask Alexa to buy you anything, maybe we should start with someof the things you shouldn’t do when it comes to ice and cold exposure. Let’sstart off with the good ol’ RICE protocol for dealing with injuries–Rest, Ice,Compress, Elevate. This is pretty outdated and has since been replaced withECM (Elevate, Compress, and Move). Why? Because inflammation is your body’s naturalresponse to injury. It is a necessary step to kick start your body’sincredible ability to heal itself. By icing, you are stunting that naturalprocess and therefore making it more difficult for your body to heal. Focusinstead on prioritizing pain free movement to stimulate blood flow andfacilitate healing. Which is a good segue into cold exposure post workout.Also a no no. After working out, your muscles will naturally become inflamedand stay that way for hours afterwards. This is a good thing and a part of theadaptation process we are looking for post-exercise. This is what makes yourbody stronger and more resilient. Post workout might be the time that a coldplunge feels best, but it is actuallycounterproductive. Moving on to cryotherapy. Let’s just say business has beenpretty good for the cryotherapy space in the past few years, but mostly due tothe hype, not science. Thisstudy showsthat the benefits of cold water immersion are greater than those of full bodycryotherapy. So basically, the fancy space age looking machine that blows coldair and will run you up to $90 a session is less beneficial than filling upyour tub with ice from your local gas station and soaking for a few minutes.Which leads us to the chest freezer ice plunge. Now, if you have access to acold river or lake year round, you can disregard this next part. But for someof us that don’t have year round access to natural water under 60 degreesFahrenheit, converting a 12-15 cubic foot chest freezer into a permanent icebath is the next best thing. So why would you go through all that trouble?Brief cold exposure has so many benefits–that’s why! When you get into somecold water, norepinephrine will flood your brain, boosting vigilance, focus,attention and mood, and reducing pain and inflammation. The norepinephrinespike from cold exposure delivers what is often called an endorphinrush–naturalpain relief and an enhanced sense of well-being. Your lymphatic system is alsoactivated by cold exposure, helping speed the clearance of toxins from tissuesthroughout the body! There are also the more hokey pokey benefits of puttingyourself through regular discomfort. There is growth, mental fortitude, and acalming sense of being present that is achieved when you have to focus on yourbreath and try to calm down your body as it reacts to the extreme cold of anice plunge. Sold on incorporating some cold exposure to your regimen? Checkout this video for steps on how to convert a chest freezer to a cold plunge,or just start off with a cold shower from time to time. There is no right orwrong way to start, but the benefits are there, so give it a shot!
Gut Health Is Literally Tied To Everything
**We’ve talked about gut health a bunch on the Daily Tonic… here’s
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A Crazy Amount Of Fitness
Maybe you knew this, maybe you didn’t, but the CrossFit Games happened thispast weekend. If you have no idea what the CrossFit Games are, it is basicallythe Olympics for people that work out too much. Jokes aside, it is anincredible sporting event that showcases what some of the world’s top athletescan do when competing in a wide variety of events and disciplines. And when Isay wide, I mean WIDE. Athletes are tested on how well they can swim, kayak,lift weights, run, perform gymnastics, and sometimes a mix of all those. Thekicker? The details of the competition events are sometimes announced justminutes before the actual competition takes place. Here is a cool spotlightarticle onTia-Clair Toomey, the most dominant female CrossFit athlete in recent years.Spoiler alert–she works out A LOT and got really creative to keep her traininggoing through the pandemic. Now of course, you don’t have to do CrossFit to behealthy, but checking out what the fittest woman on earth does for hertraining could be a motivational way to start your week.
- DIY not really your thing? Here is a cold plunge you can buy that is already built out for you. Pricey, but worth it.
- Regenerative beef anyone? Here is one of our favorite brands!
- Want to deep dive a bit more into cold exposure? Here is a great podcast hosted by the ladies over at NCFIT.
- In case you missed it, our friends over at Kettle & Fire have gone above and beyond and committed to regenerative agriculture. Now, that’s cool!
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