Being European, I grew up with temperatures minus zero in winter time.
“Flowers on my legs” from the cold after cycling 11 KM one way to school every day, made me resilient.
But after living in Australia for a couple of years, I have noticed that my immune system is changing, feeling the cold earlier. Nothing feels better than a warm shower or a foamy bath. Still, I challenge you to turn the tab to ice cold every now and then. Or like I prefer, trying to swim all winter through…..
Cold causes an acute moment of stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as if you were sprinting up there stairs and then relaxing again.
But do we want stress? We certainly want to avoid chronic stress at all times, but there is nothing wrong with acute stress. It makes your immune system work. And that makes it stronger.
Strengthen your immune system by disrupting your body:
Every body has an 'accelerator' that is controlled by 'danger' from outside. If you are attacked by a bear, have to give an exciting speech or take an active sport, you press the gas. Once the danger has passed, you automatically slow down. Stress as described above is a good stress for our body. We need it to stay sharp and to be able to solve problems.
A strong body has an accelerator that is perfectly capable of dealing with acute stress.
But now comes the problem. In our society we are overloaded with too many incentives, high work pressure, a poor self-image, you name it. This creates stress on stress that the body can no longer process, also known as chronic stress. Our body only gives gas
A simple, fresh way to improve your immunity
Now back to that cold shower. By taking a cold shower or taking a plunge bath or a nice winter swim in #Coogee you train your body to recover from stress. You actually strengthen your immune system by disrupting your body. Gradually, your body finds the balance between accelerating and hitting the brakes. A simple, fresh and effective way to improve your resistance.
And when your stress responses are better, not only will your resistance improve, but also your pain tolerance, you will sleep better and you will have more energy. Give it a try, like I did….yep December in the #Netherlands….you can see the thick coats, but I was not the only crazy #WimHof follower out there