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An icy bath is good for you

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It’s not everyone’s idea of fun—but taking a dip in icy water is good for us.

It can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, cut our ‘bad’ body fat—the ‘white’ fat—while elevating levels of the calorie-burning ‘good’ fat– brown adipose tissue (BAT)—which reduces the risk for obesity and heart disease, say researchers.  Other benefits could include increased libido, weight loss and better mental health.

Sudden immersion in freezing water has an immediate impact on the body, perhaps not surprisingly; it raises the heart rate, and triggers the body to burn calories to maintain body temperature, say researchers from the UIT Arctic University of Norway, who took another look at 104 studies that had explored the benefits of icy water bathing.  

The researchers do caution that the health benefits haven’t been completely established; the studies involved a wide group of different people who were also bathing in various levels of coldness.

International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 2022; 81: DOI: 10.1080/22423982.2022.2111789

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Article Topics: Adipose tissue, obesity
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