Today’s society exhibits a great deal of passivity. People, by and large, steer clear of extremes Nonetheless, the human body is designed to be self-regulating. Temperature is something for which the body adjusts itself. The body can adjust to the colder and hotter extremes of temperature. Saunas can be very beneficial to overall health and Cold water immersion (CWI) stimulates physiological responses that provide several benefits. The mind and body adjust to external temperature extremes thereby enabling efficient and effective bodily response. Care should be taken when doing saunas or immersing in cold water: the body can respond adversely in some instances.
The body can self regulate for temperature. In fact, with proper preparation, a healthy body can acclimate to extremes of cold as well as of heat. Saunas are very relaxing to the body where as CWI can be VERY invigorating. There are benefits to both but they must be acquired by building up the tolerance to the temperatures, especially in the case of CWI. It is good for the body to endure such extremes. Temperature extremes promote various beneficial physiological responses. Extreme heat causes an increase in total body blood circulation and can be of benefit to those heart disease and chronic pain. Extreme cold is more demanding on the body. The benefits obtain from CWI include stimulation of weight loss (due to suppression of adrenaline), a reduction in stress responses (as evidenced by a reduction in stress hormone markers), and parasympathetic nervous system stimulation.
Many people want to be comfortable. Just the right amount of clothes. Just the right distance from the television. Just the right look (from a fashion standpoint). There are situations that require physical adjustments for efficiency: i. e. golf club length, bicycle seat height, positioning of the seat and mirrors in a car. Comfort is an overriding determinant. People gravitate toward the more comfortable in modern societies. Although the financially well to do are able to afford more comfort, there is a certain level of comfort that most people are able to acquire.
A state of good health requires that the body be exposed to some level of challenge. People do not like to exercise. Consumption of unhealthy diets is rampant in these present times. A little more attention to the overall effects of pursuing comfort could be the impetus for many people to initiate a lifestyle change. However, the ability to monitor the body’s response to long term indulging of comfort is not easy. The evidence of the effects is gradual. If the body is not experiencing overt discomfort, most signs of a comfort oriented lifestyle would go unnoticed or unheeded.
The body adjusts to stressors and extremes. High levels of exertion, long periods without food, high temperature, low temperature – these are some of the more noticeable conditions for which the body can regulate. Specifically, the body’s ability to adjust to temperature extremes can be used to benefit and support overall health and wellness. Extremes in heat can be more easily accommodated than can those of cold. The tolerance for both must be approached and acquired methodically. In cases of health issues, one must consult their healthcare provider for specific guidance.
. . . . . and, by all means, take a dip!!!
The effects of hot and cold on human physiology