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Dr. Huberman and Dr. Søberg Blog

How To Use Cold and Heat Exposure to Improve Your Health

In this episode, Dr. Huberman speaks to Dr. Susanna Søberg. Susanna Søberg earned her doctoral degree at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, researching the effects of deliberate cold and deliberate heat exposure on metabolism and other aspects of human physiology.

They discuss how cold or sauna can improve metabolism, cardiovascular and brain health, balance hormones, and decrease inflammation.

Dr. Søberg discusses how deliberate cold protocols can improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity and trigger the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which enhance energy, mood, and focus. They compare cold showers and cold immersion, traditional and infrared saunas, and other variables. This episode provides actionable tools and answers to common questions about the use of deliberate cold and heat to improve health.

Focusing specifically on the hot and cold immersion protocols discussed in the podcast, we are going to highlight the 'why'.

Why do this in the first place?

She carried out a study of winter swimmers that were coming into a winter bathing season. The participants primarily tried to swim during the daytime in order to try to keep it consistent. They were getting into cold water (climbing down a ladder up to the neck), staying in the water 2/3 times per week, combining it with a traditional Finnish sauna. She compared winter swimmers and a control group of non-winter swimmers and used a set of biomarkers in order to compare and contrast the impact this protocol has. Some of the biomarkers used were measurements such as:

· Insulin levels

· Brown Fat levels

· Glucose levels

(These are only some of the biomarkers)

These are only some of the outcomes discovered during this study:

· Increased brown fat production (good for lowering glucose levels in the blood)

· Increased insulin sensitivity (produced less insulin on all experimenting days)

· Increased glucose clearance in the blood (this is good as we want less glucose in the blood as it is very bad for our body's cells)

The protocol for each time they went was as follows:

· Cold Dip: 1 - 2 minutes (Temperature ranged from 12-2 degrees Celsius)

· Sauna: 10 - 15 minutes (80 degrees Celsius)

· Cold Dip: 1-2 minutes (Temperature ranged from 12-2 degrees Celsius)

· Sauna: 10 - 15 minutes (80 degrees Celsius)

· Ending with one more cold dip

The point of the study was to highlight how you can have such a positive impact on your lifestyle with actions and activities that are free/affordable and accessible to most people.

Some of the benefits that your body, mind, and soul experience during this exercise have been proven time and time again through modern-day research.

The list is truly endless with things such as Brown Fat Production, Insulin sensitivity (good for glucose clearance within the blood), Speeding up of the metabolism of the body, Parasympathetic activation, and although these scientific biomarkers are measured (and clearly measured positively), the many other benefits of this practice that are not so measurable are things like:

· Human interaction

· Social gathering

· Community building

· Setting aside 'You' time'

In order to disconnect, reconnect with yourself and others around you.

These things get looked past so easily in our day-to-day lives as a society today has been built around a faster-paced life, more access to online connection than ever before, and even more measurements than we even know what to do with.

Doing activities and experiences like this not only challenges you but also allows you to give yourself an opportunity to see yourself 'grow'.

Grow from overcoming barriers.

Grow from committing to something out of your comfort zone.

Grow to have an open mind to learn from others you share this experience with.

This is and always has been our why; this is what we have set out to do with this lifestyle brand:

'Fad Saoil Saunas' "To Long Life"

We are here to celebrate our community's growth. We are here to share experiences with one another. We are here to lend the helping hand you never thought you needed.

Here is the link to listen to this insightful masterclass from the leading practitioners in the world about the nitty-gritty details of all the goodness from this!

And as always,

Fad Saoil x

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