Winter (Bathing) Time: Ice Bathing and Healthy Alternatives

Father Kneipp demonstrated it to us during his time in the ice-cold Danube and was able to completely cure his tuberculosis: Bathing in ice water or swimming in a pool in winter.

What happens? The metabolism is activated very quickly and the blood sugar level immediately drops dramatically to ensure that the body temperature is maintained. In addition, the much healthier fat metabolism is stimulated and the immune system is strengthened. Of course, ice bathing is only for the very tough and absolutely cardiovascular healthy. Measured: the blood sugar level sinks after a cold shower or a jump into the cold pool around 20-30 mg/dl… that is nevertheless sometimes a message also for diabetics to do it after the pastor Kneipp, right?

Winter Bathing – What To Consider

But even if you are in good health, it is important not to overestimate yourself and not to stay in the water for more than a few seconds or minutes. After all, winter bathing is supposed to be good for your health and not to endanger it. For this reason, it is extremely important to avoid hypothermia before diving in. Keep warm by wearing warm clothing, just like the Olympic swimmers do. Immediately after jumping into the freezing water, wrap up well and keep moving. This will minimize the risk of hypothermia. It is also advisable not to do the winter swim alone – an escort or a swimming group can be helpful if the worst comes to the worst.

Healthy Alternatives To Ice Bathing

What are the alternatives to ice bathing? Another way to stimulate the metabolism is to alternate between a sauna and a cold shower. However, people with high blood pressure, heart problems or the elderly should start with this as moderately as possible. In the beginning, it is best to do it only on the arms and legs. It is important not to go to extremes. The rule here is to start slowly and very gradually increase the cold treatment to the entire area of the extremities.

Another option is the following method: take an ice pack or an ice-cold stainless steel thermos from the refrigerator with both hands, hold it with both hands, and perform the exercise regularly as follows Slowly move your head back and forth (not too fast to avoid neck injury). Since our hands are the second most important sensors of cold after our lips, the hands signal to the brain that it is cold enough to activate the brown fat cells.

Through all of these methods, our body’s own “heating system” can kick into high gear and consume additional energy through the increased burning of sugar and fat. This is why nutritionists like to talk about the thermogenic lifestyle or, in the words of Pastor Kneipp, “hardening”.

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