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As the winter months settle in, so do the challenges that come with them. 

The decrease in daylight, frigid temperatures, and the temptation to hibernate indoors can lead to a decline in both physical and mental well-being. 

At Loyalty Fitness, we understand the struggle. That’s why we’re here to guide you through conquering the winter blues with the perfect blend of exercise, nutrition, hydration, quality sleep, sunlight, and overall well-being.

Exercise Your Way to Winter Wellness

Our commitment to your well-being extends beyond conventional fitness methods. 

Our super slow weight training method, grounded in science and research, ensures guaranteed results. 

This winter, elevate your fitness journey with personalized one-on-one training sessions at our private gyms in Greenwich, CT, and Syosset, NY. 

Or schedule virtual training sessions from home to unleash the power of our science-backed exercise system to boost your energy levels and combat seasonal blues.

Discover New Winter Activities

While outdoor activities may seem limited in the colder months, you can still step outside your home or our gym to explore alternatives like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. Or bundle up and go out for a daily refreshing nature walk!

These outdoor activities not only keep you active during the season, they also allow you to make the most of the winter wonderland. 

Layer up, check the forecast, and indulge in the joy of moving your body, even in the chilliest weather. Bonus wellness points if you can get some early morning sunlight in your eyes to help establish a daily routine, enhance your mood, and improve your sleep. 

Nutrition and Proper Hydration: Fuel Your Body, Ignite Your Spirit

You can help combat winter lethargy by incorporating more seasonal vegetables and fruits into your diet. 

We recommend filling your shopping carts with winter produce like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and winter squash varieties and don’t skimp on the spices! Garlic, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and oregano all aid in circulation and digestion and help support the immune system and overall wellness.

As always, don’t forget the protein! Aim for at least 30g of protein at each meal by incorporating foods such as pastured eggs, chicken, and yogurt, grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon and shrimp, and cottage cheese.

The winter months especially can be very drying.  Avoid dehydration by sipping on filtered water with added electrolytes or a pinch of high-quality salt, bone broth, or hot tea with lemon and honey throughout the day. 

Vitamin D for Holistic Health

In the winter, sunlight exposure diminishes, impacting your vitamin D levels. 

Optimal vitamin D levels are important for enhancing your body’s resistance to infections, improving bone health, reducing inflammation, supporting overall health, and diminishing the winter doldrums. 

While safe, unfiltered (no sunglasses!) sun exposure is ideal, consider adding a vitamin D supplement to your winter routine to bridge the gap between fall and spring. 

Consult with your physician first and get your levels checked and be sure to take with fat such as grass fed butter, full fat yogurt, or avocado as it is a fat soluble vitamin. Also, taking it with magnesium helps maximize absorption in the body. 

Taking this step helps ensure that your immune system remains resilient throughout the cold weather months.

Quality Sleep for Holistic Wellness

During the winter, prioritizing quality sleep is an effective way to support your overall well-being. 

We recommend adhering to a consistent sleep schedule, exercising regularly, minimizing your caffeine and alcohol intake (which can negatively impact your immunity), and incorporating sleep-supportive, magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, almonds, and organic tart cherry juice.   

All of these recommendations are preferred to relying on over-the-counter sleep aids which can make you feel groggy — which in turn helps fuel the winter blues. 

Create Warmth Despite Winter’s Chill 

Drawing inspiration from Denmark’s happiness-inducing concept of hygge, you can bring warmth and comfort to the dark winter months by slowing down and immersing yourself in the simple pleasures of everyday life. 

Dim the lights, disconnect from devices, and prioritize togetherness with family, friends, and your pets. 

Whether you’re playing a board game, hosting a dinner, or sharing a cup of coffee or hot tea, fostering relationships and practicing gratitude can elevate your winter experience and boost your mood.

Enhance Your Wellness Beyond Winter 

Don’t let the winter blues dampen your spirits this year. Use these recommendations to elevate your mood, keep you energized, support your immune system, and improve your wellness this winter and every season to follow!

At Loyalty Fitness, our dedication to our clients goes beyond seasonal well-being. 

Our certified trainers prioritize you and your needs by crafting personalized fitness and nutrition regimens that align with your fitness and wellness goals. 

Whether through in-person sessions at our private gyms or virtual personal training, we are here to guide you on a holistic journey to lasting wellness.

Join us today to enjoy invigorating workouts, nourishing nutrition, and lifestyle practices that warm your soul! 

CHALLENGE:

Create a daily routine that will boost your mood and invigorate you for the day ahead! Try to include morning sunlight, protein-rich food at every meal, hydrating liquids throughout the day, a daily walk outside, connection with a loved one, and a consistent bedtime in a cool, dark room. Bonus points for your Loyalty Fitness workouts two times a week!!

One of the biggest challenges of midlife workout enthusiasts is the belief that they can still pursue the high-intensity training (HIT) methods they performed when they were their younger selves. However, those repetitive high-intensity training methods can do more damage than good — especially when it comes to joint health. As we age, our bodies are not designed to withstand the effects of these high-intensity workouts. At Loyalty Fitness, we understand the pain points (literally) of explosive workouts especially as you age.  That’s why we’re championing our proven super slow weight training method Let’s explore why this method is the saving grace for your joints!

The Midlife Workout Dilemma 

When you’re in your 40s or 50s, your body likely cannot tolerate the explosive high-intensity training (HIT) sessions that it may have been able to when you were in your 20s and 30s. And if you’re in your 60s or older, your body may not be able to tolerate an exercise routine for the average 40 or 50 year old.  By the time you reach midlife years- or maybe even earlier than that- your joints are begging for a break!  That’s because explosive HIT workouts and aging joints are a bad combination since: 

  • Joints wear and tear faster with high-impact exercises.
  • Risk of injuries and chronic pain increase when you perform HIT methods.
  • Recovery time becomes longer as we age.

Rather than performing HIT routines, our super slow strength training method is a more appropriate and effective option for aging bodies and joints.

The Science Behind Super Slow Weight Training

At Loyalty Fitness, slow and steady training replaces quick and high-impact workouts.  Our super slow weight training method is not just a workout; it’s a joint-friendly solution for people who want to achieve their fitness goals without increasing their risk of injury. And the best part? It only takes 30 minutes one to two times a week! Why should you make the switch to this slow and steady method?   Let’s break it down: 

  • Muscle Activation: Slower movements engage muscles more effectively, leading to better results.
  • Reduced Joint Impact: This method helps minimize stress on joints, making it ideal for midlife fitness.
  • Improved Stability: Super slow strength training enhances core strength and stability for overall joint support

Proven Results: Slow and Steady Wins the Fitness Goal Race

We get it – you want optimal results without compromising your well-being.  Our super slow strength training method offers the following benefits for our clients:

  • Increased Strength: Gradual resistance builds stronger muscles over time.
  • Joint Preservation: Safeguard your joints and prolong their longevity.
  • Customization: Tailored workouts for individual fitness goals.

Super Slow Weight Training FAQs 

While all of the above information sounds good, you may have some questions about whether or not super slow strength training is the right choice for you and your goals.  Here are a few of the many questions our clients have and the answers we offer to help them make a more informed decision: 

Q: Is Super Slow Strength Training Suitable for All Ages and Fitness Levels?
A: Absolutely! Our professional, certified trainers can easily customize each session based on your age, fitness level, health history, and personal goals.

Q: How Long Before I See Results with Super Slow Strength Training?
A: While individual results vary, many of our clients notice positive changes within a few weeks of consistent training.

Q: Can I Combine Super Slow Strength Training with Other Forms of Exercise?
A: Certainly! Our personal trainers can incorporate our super slow strength training method into a well-rounded fitness plan.

Virtual Personal Training: Midlife Fitness Anytime, Anywhere!

Whether you’re at the height of your professional career or retired, we understand that everyday life is busy.  That’s why we extend our programs beyond our physical locations.  Our online virtual personal training sessions bring our trainers and programs to you, ensuring your joints receive the care they deserve, no matter where you are! This is incredibly beneficial during winter weather emergencies, vacations, and holidays! 

Take It Slow – and You’ll Enjoy the Rewards! 

It’s time to bid farewell to the joint-jarring HIT workouts and take a fitness journey that’s as kind to your joints as it is effective.  Loyalty Fitness is here to guide you through the world of super slow strength training to ensure that this chapter of your life is one of strength, vitality, and pain-free living. Ready to make the shift to super slow strength training?  Visit us at our Greenwich, CT, or Syosset, NY locations. Or, drop us a line any time!  Your joints- and future self- will thank you!

CHALLENGE:

Take advantage of everything Loyalty Fitness has to offer- from strength training and nutrition coaching to weekly wellness workshops! We are almost one month into 2024. What are you doing to better yourself and your life? You owe it to yourself to feel your best! Make this the year that you commit to you and your own health and wellness because you cannot pour from an empty cup!

In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, understanding the connection between sugar and the immune system is important.

Why?

Excessive sugar intake has been linked to a compromised immune response, making our bodies susceptible to illnesses. Understanding this link empowers us to make informed choices for optimal immune defense.

Below, we’ll help you understand how sugar influences our immune system, shine a light on some “healthy” foods that actually contain added refined sugar, and highlight some of the ways exercise can help regulate blood sugar and reduce your sugar cravings.

The Sugar-Immune System Relationship

Sugar, especially the refined kind found in many processed foods, has been linked to various health issues, including a compromised immune system. 

Consuming foods with high levels of added sugars can substantially elevate blood sugar levels, leading to an increase in the production of inflammatory proteins such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). These proteins have adverse effects on immune function.

Since excessive sugar consumption can suppress immune function, your body is more susceptible to viruses, infections, and illnesses.

While some foods and beverages that have high added sugar content are easy to spot (ie- desserts and soda), there are several offenders that are not so easy to spot. 

Sneaky Sources of Added Sugar

Believe it or not, many seemingly healthy foods are riddled with refined sugars. 

Your favorite yogurt may just be a sugar bomb, and that multigrain bread you always buy could be a silent contributor to your sugar intake so it’s imperative to check nutrition labels and read ingredients. 

There are many packaged breads, salad dressings, condiments, meats, sauces, and beverages that are marketed as healthy alternatives—yet, they may contribute to your daily sugar intake without you even realizing it. 

Small Steps to Control Your Sugar Consumption

Awareness of hidden sugars in your diet is one of the best methods for making smarter food and beverage choices.

Reading product labels before you make a purchase is one of the first steps toward reducing your sugar intake and pursuing a healthier lifestyle. If you see high levels of sugar in that “low-calorie” dressing, you can put that bottle back on the shelf and search for a healthier alternative. 

Since many processed foods such as cereal, sauces, dressings, breads, etc are made with high levels of sugar. Avoid filling your shopping cart with these product options and choose whole, unprocessed foods instead. 

Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are nutrient-rich alternatives without the added sugars.

If you are currently using sugar or artificial sweeteners to flavor your coffee, tea, or cereal, make the switch to natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. When used in moderation, these substitutes can be more beneficial to your health than sugar and artificial sweeteners and they don’t wreck havoc on your gut like refined sugar does. 

Additionally, you can swap sugary snacks for healthier alternatives, such as an apple and nut butter, hummus and carrot sticks, or plain Greek yogurt with a little honey and fresh berries to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your immune and gut health. 

And if you want to indulge in a little treat, try to do so after a nutrient-dense, protein-rich meal. This will dramatically reduce the blood sugar spike many people experience after a high-carb/sugar food. If you don’t have control over the ingredients, you can at least control when the food is consumed. It’s not so much the dessert after a hearty meal that’s the problem; it’s the sugar on an empty stomach that can really make or break your metabolic health.

Exercise and Blood Sugar Regulation

Beyond a balanced diet, exercise plays a pivotal role in regulating blood sugar levels and reducing sugar cravings. 

Loyalty Fitness stands by its science-backed methods, including the super slow weight training technique.

Super slow weight training involves performing resistance exercises at an intentionally slow pace, typically taking about 10 seconds for both the lifting and lowering phases of each repetition. 

While there is some evidence to suggest that regular exercise, including resistance training, can have positive effects on blood sugar regulation and the immune system, the specific results can vary from individual to individual.

Here are some general ways in which regular exercise, including super slow weight training, may contribute to blood sugar regulation and immune system support:

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Exercise, including resistance training, can enhance insulin sensitivity. This means that the body’s cells become more responsive to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.

Improved insulin sensitivity can help prevent or manage conditions like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which are characterized by impaired blood sugar regulation.

Skeletal Muscle Glucose Uptake

Muscle contractions during resistance training can increase the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, helping to lower blood sugar levels.This effect is particularly important for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.

Body Composition and Metabolism

Super slow weight training can contribute to improvements in body composition by increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat.

Maintaining a healthy body composition is associated with better metabolic health and may positively influence blood sugar levels.

Stress Reduction

Regular exercise, including super slow weight training, has been shown to reduce stress levels.

Chronic stress can negatively impact blood sugar regulation and weaken the immune system. By managing stress, exercise indirectly supports these physiological processes.

Virtual Personal Training for a Sugar-Smart Lifestyle

Even if you can’t make it to our Greenwich, CT, or Syosset, NY locations, our online virtual personal training sessions bring expert guidance to your home. Tailored workouts, coupled with nutritional advice, can help you stay on track with your fitness goals while making informed choices about sugar intake.

However, it’s important to note that individual responses to exercise can vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional or fitness expert, such as our certified trainers, before starting any new exercise program is advisable, especially for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Maintain Your Health and Stay Informed with Loyalty Fitness 

Understanding the impact of sugar on your immune system is a vital aspect of achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

At Loyalty Fitness, we’re committed to guiding you not only in your fitness journey but also in making informed nutrition and lifestyle choices that support your overall well-being. 

Contact us today to see how our personal training and nutrition coaching services can help you enjoy a healthier, happier lifestyle! 

Stress is not all bad, but chronic stress can have detrimental effects on our bodies and well-being. This time of year can be especially stressful. Between work, family gatherings, holiday events, and trying to stay on top of our health and fitness, it can all be a bit overwhelming! 

But have you ever wondered how all of this stress affects your immune system? 

In the following article, we’ll examine the connection between stress and your immune system to explore the impact it has on your body’s ability to fend off illness. 

So, let’s journey into the world of stress and immunity, and discover how Loyalty Fitness can help you combat it.

What is Stress? 

Stress is a natural response that your body initiates in reaction to any demanding situation. It’s your body’s way of preparing for challenges, both physical and emotional. It’s the “fight or flight” reaction that dates back to our earliest ancestors.

But in today’s world, chronic stress is more often caused by work-related or personal issues. And high levels of chronic stress can take a toll on our health.

The Connection Between Stress and Cortisol 

Cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone,” is released in response to stress. Its main purpose is to regulate various bodily functions during stressful situations. 

However, when stress is chronic, cortisol levels can become elevated, leading to an outpouring of negative effects.

The Importance of a Healthy Immune System 

Our immune system is the body’s defense mechanism against harmful invaders like viruses and bacteria. It’s made up of various cells, proteins, and organs working together to keep us healthy. 

And like any defense mechanism, our immune system needs to be in optimal condition to offer the most effective protection against ongoing threats and harm. 

How Stress Weakens Your Immune System

Chronic stress can weaken your immune system by reducing the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells responsible for fighting off infections. This makes you more susceptible to illnesses and infections.

Prolonged stress can wreak havoc on your health and lead to inflammation, anxiety, depression, skin issues, and cardiovascular concerns. It’s not just your mental health that’s affected; if high stress levels persist, they can take a toll on your physical health, too.

Strategies for Managing Stress

To maintain a healthy immune system, you need to manage your stress effectively. 

Strategies such as regular exercise, daily meditation/journaling, spending time outdoors, getting a full night of restful sleep, listening to music, and enjoying the company of loved ones can help reduce stress levels and support your immune system.

Solutions to Combat Stress and Support Your Immune System 

At Loyalty Fitness, we believe that the journey to reduced stress and a healthier immune system starts with personalized care. Our approach is not one-size-fits-all, but rather tailor-made to address your unique needs. 

Here’s how Loyalty Fitness can make a difference in your battle against stress and its impact on your immune system:

Personal Training 

We understand that each individual is unique. That’s why they offer one-on-one personal training

When you work with one of our friendly and nationally certified trainers, you’re not just another face in the crowd. Your fitness regimen is carefully crafted with your goals and specific needs in mind. This personalized approach ensures that you receive the guidance and support you need to achieve your fitness and health goals effectively.

A Supportive Environment

At each of our locations, we create an environment where you’re not just a client; you’re part of a close-knit and supportive community that cares about your well-being. 

Friendly trainers and staff are there to motivate and support you, making your fitness journey a positive and encouraging experience. This support is essential in managing stress and enhancing your overall health.

Science-Based Methods

Loyalty Fitness is committed to using science and research to provide the best possible solutions for all of our clients. One of their standout features is our super slow weight training method

This revolutionary approach is based on scientific principles and has a proven track record of delivering guaranteed results. By engaging your muscles in a low-impact, slow and controlled manner, this method not only strengthens your physique but also helps reduce stress levels to benefit your immune system.

Nutrition for Improved Immunity 

Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of a healthy immune system. 

Our team of nutritionists recognizes the importance of a well-balanced diet in supporting your immunity. They offer nutrition plans tailored to your specific requirements. These plans ensure that your body receives the right nutrients to ward off infections and maintain optimal health. Our team doesn’t just stop at workouts; they also guide you through the dietary aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Virtual Training Options 

Time is our most precious commodity. But there’s always time for your well-being, no matter how busy your schedule is. Loyalty Fitness understands that, and that’s why we provide online virtual personal training sessions

This convenient personal training option ensures that you can prioritize your health and well-being, even in the busiest of schedules. You can access expert guidance and support from the comfort of your own living space, making it easier to combat stress and strengthen your immune system.

Enjoy the Benefits of Lower Stress and Improved Immunity 

As you can see, stress and your immune system are intricately connected. Chronic stress can weaken your immune defenses, making you more susceptible to illnesses. 

To combat the effects of chronic stress and weakened immune systems, Loyalty Fitness provides personalized solutions via our one-on-one training sessions, super slow weight training methods, and tailored nutrition plans. 

By reducing stress and enhancing your overall well-being, you can strengthen and support your immune system and lead a healthier, happier life. 

Don’t let stress compromise your immune system; take charge of your wellness with Loyalty Fitness.

Contact us today to arrange your first session! 

CHALLENGE:

Develop a 10-minute morning routine to get your day off to a good, stress-free start! This can include something like 5 minutes of stretching/movement, 3 minutes of writing down a gratitude list, and 2 minutes of affirmations. Yes, it really can be that quick and simple! Remember, some of the best things you can do for yourself are often basic and FREE! Starting your day peacefully and in the right state of mind can help you manage your stress levels throughout the day and prepare you for anything that may come your way!

When trying to achieve your fitness goals, few aspects are as critical as protein synthesis. 

At Loyalty Fitness, we understand that enhancing protein synthesis through a combination of diet and exercise is vital to achieving your fitness goals. 

Our certified, friendly, and knowledgeable trainers are dedicated to helping you maximize your results. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the science and strategies behind optimizing protein synthesis to help you unlock your full fitness potential.

What is Protein Synthesis?

Before we go into the specifics of how to optimize protein synthesis, it’s important that you understand the fundamental concept itself. 

Protein synthesis is the process by which cells build proteins. These proteins are crucial for repairing and growing muscle tissue. To achieve significant gains in muscle mass and strength, it’s imperative to effectively stimulate and support this process.

The Role of Diet in Optimizing Protein Synthesis

A key component of any muscle-building journey is adequate protein intake. 

Protein provides the essential amino acids your body needs for protein synthesis. Enjoying a diet that’s rich in protein such as pasture raised organic chicken, grass fed beef, wild caught seafood such as salmon, shrimp, or scallops, pasture raised eggs, bone broth, protein muffins, organic plain greek yogurt or cottage cheese are all solid choices of foods to increase amino acid and protein intake.

Ideally you want to consume 0.8g-1g of protein per body weight. So for an individual who is 150lbs, they want to be eating anywhere from 120g-150g of protein per day (more towards 150g on Loyalty Fitness workout days)!

Aim for high protein meals (about 30-35g) especially at breakfast and after a workout, to promote healthy blood sugar levels, stable hormones, and to keep you satiated for ample amount of time. This will also provide your muscles with the necessary building blocks when they need them most.

Eating an adequate amount of protein throughout the day can also decrease your cravings for other less nutritious foods while improving immune function, oxygen transport throughout the body, and the health of your skin, hair, and nails!

Although it is ideal to meet your protein requirements through whole foods, it can be challenging to meet your protein needs solely through that alone. In such instances, clean protein supplements like grass fed whey or bone broth protein can be a helpful way to bridge the gap.

Exercise Strategies for Optimizing Protein Synthesis

Exercise is the trigger that sets protein synthesis into motion. Different types of exercise impact protein synthesis differently. While cardio has its place, resistance training, like our super slow weight training method, is a game-changer. Building muscle is the key to longevity, strong bones, and a healthy metabolism.

Our super slow weight training method, which is rooted in science and research, involves lifting weights at a slower pace, increasing time under tension, and promoting muscle fiber recruitment. This method guarantees results by optimizing protein synthesis.

In addition to slow strength training, exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, are also highly effective in triggering protein synthesis. 

To continuously challenge your muscles and promote protein synthesis, it’s crucial to progressively increase the resistance or intensity of your workouts. This forces your muscles to adapt and grow over time.

To maximize protein synthesis and promote muscle growth over time, create a workout routine that incorporates resistance training, compound exercises and progressive overload.

The Importance of Hydration and Recovery to Protein Synthesis 

Hydration is often overlooked but is a vital component of protein synthesis. 

Water plays a crucial role in transporting nutrients, including amino acids, to muscle cells. Staying adequately hydrated is essential for optimizing protein synthesis. Since you lose a lot of minerals via sweat and urination, adding electrolytes, a high quality salt, or trace minerals to your water is also important in order to restore your mineral levels and keep them in balance.

Equally important is recovery. Quality sleep and rest days between intense workouts allows your muscles to repair and grow. Personal trainers, like the team at Loyalty Fitness, emphasize the importance of a well-rounded approach that includes both exercise and recovery strategies.

Monitoring Your Progress and Food Intake to Optimize Protein Synthesis

To ensure you’re on the right track, it can be useful to measure your progress using various tracking methods, from body measurements to strength gains. You can also use apps like MyFitnessPal or keep a food journal to accurately record and see how much protein you really are eating every day.

Working one-on-one with a certified trainer offers you the opportunity to benefit from personalized fitness and nutrition regimens tailored to your specific goals. Your trainer will make regular assessments and adjustments to ensure you’re continuously optimizing your protein synthesis. 

Establish Consistency for the Best Results 

Consistency is key when it comes to optimizing protein synthesis. Stay committed to your diet and exercise routine, even on challenging days. 

As we always say, muscle growth is a marathon, not a sprint.

Supporting Your Fitness Journey 

Optimizing protein synthesis through diet and exercise is the key to achieving your fitness goals. 

It’s a combination of good nutrition and effective workouts that lead to the results you desire and remember- PROTEIN IS KEY!

Loyalty Fitness is your partner in optimizing protein synthesis through diet and exercise. With certified trainers, science-backed methods, and a client-focused approach, your goals are within reach. 

Whether you visit our Greenwich, CT, or Syosset, NY locations for one-on-one sessions or opt for our virtual training session, we’re here to guide you every step of the way when optimizing protein synthesis. 

Remember, the key to success lies in setting clear goals, embracing strength training with the super slow weight training method, and fueling your body with the right nutrients. Together with Loyalty Fitness, you can achieve remarkable results in your fitness journey

Take action today and contact us to learn more about our exercise and nutrition services! 

CHALLENGE:

Try to eat 30g of protein at your first meal of the day for a few days straight and see how you feel! Increased energy? Longer satiety? Less cravings for junk food? Ready to tackle the day- and your workout?!

Our very own Greenwich trainer, Che, pictured here utilizing the healing power of cold therapy in a full body ice bath!

Ever wonder why many athletes take a cold shower or sit in a tub of icy cold water after a big game? 

It’s because cold water has many health benefits that can improve a variety of conditions and help your body feel better especially after a workout.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at cold therapy, some of its many benefits and offer some helpful tips to prevent any issues or injuries when incorporating this wellness tool into your lifestyle. 

What is Cold Therapy?

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a simple yet effective way to boost your health. 

At its core, cold therapy involves exposing your body to cold temperatures for various durations using various methods such as cold showers, full body ice baths, or a plunge into a cold lake or ocean. The idea is to stimulate a range of physiological responses that can help relieve and improve a variety of issues including post-workout muscle soreness, everyday aches and pains, and even depression and anxiety. 

The key is to stay in the water long enough to acclimate and slowly build up your body’s response with a big focus on your breath. Taking long, deep breaths and relaxing the body before you enter the water and while you are exposed to the water signal to your body that you are in a rested state and that what is happening is ok. You want to avoid taking quick, shallow breaths as we often are inclined to do in cold temperatures. This will send the body into a panic and will not give you the healing and calming effects that cold therapy can provide.

What are the Benefits of Cold Therapy? 

In recent years, cold therapy has gained increased interest due to its contribution to numerous health benefits, including: 

Reduces Inflammation and Soreness

If you’ve ever experienced post-workout muscle soreness, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness by constricting blood vessels. This reduces blood flow to the sore areas which then helps reduce swelling and inflammation. 

For years, most college-level and professional sports teams have implemented cold therapy into their programs to improve players’ muscle soreness or injuries such as ankle sprains after games and practice sessions. The use of cold therapy also helps athletes recover in time for upcoming games. 

Decreasing inflammation throughout the body can also help alleviate chronic ailments such as autoimmune disorders, depression, and anxiety as well as more acute issues such as arthritis and joint pain.

Stimulates the Vagus Nerve and Regulates the Nervous System

The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in our autonomic nervous system. It controls all of our major organs and digestive system and it holds some of the keys to improved health.

One of the key functions of the Vagus Nerve is to trigger the opposite response to fight, flight and freeze. Therefore, it is able to move our body into a more regulated and meditative state, free from stress and ready to relax.

Stimulating the Vagus Nerve is a significant step towards getting out of a constant fight or flight state by quieting your mind and increasing your ability to focus, rest, and digest food.

Supports a Strong Immune System 

Exposing your body to cold temperatures can help stimulate your immune system. This, in turn, may help your body become more resilient to illnesses. In fact, a study that was conducted within the last ten years which tested a variety of techniques, showed positive immune responses from those who participated in cold water immersion therapies. 

Helps Individuals Recover from Surgery

Cold therapy is also seeing an increase in usage in post-surgical rehabilitation initiatives. Since this therapy can help alleviate pain by reducing swelling and inflammation, more medical experts are recommending cold therapy for their patients, especially those who have experienced soft tissue trauma. By incorporating this therapy into their rehabilitation program, patients may enjoy increased functionality at a much higher rate. 

Improves Breathing and Circulation

As cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict and then dilate upon being exposed to warmer conditions, incorporating brief durations of cold therapy can help improve your overall circulation by focusing on your breath. Slow, deep breathing can improve blood oxygenation and circulation which helps support more efficient nutrient and oxygen transport throughout your body.

Reduces Stress, Improves Mood and Contributes to Quality Sleep 

Cold therapy can have a positive impact on mood and mental well-being. Exposure to cold temperatures triggers a stress response in the body that leads to the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that help us deal with stressful situations by increasing blood sugar levels and boosting energy production. 

Cold therapy has also been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. This can help improve your mood by helping you feel less anxious and more relaxed, similar to the “runner’s high” experienced after intense exercise.

Additionally, cold therapy may improve sleep quality by regulating the body’s circadian rhythms. It can help reset the sleep-wake cycle, leading to more restful and refreshing sleep, which in turn also contributes to a better mood and more energy during the day. 

Helps with Weight Management

Cold therapy, such as ice baths or cold exposure, can contribute to weight management through several mechanisms, such as burning calories and fat. 

When your body is exposed to cold temperatures, it works harder to maintain its core temperature. This process, known as thermogenesis, burns additional calories. Regular exposure to cold may help boost your overall calorie expenditure, potentially supporting weight loss. 

Cold exposure may stimulate your body to burn more fat for energy. This can be especially beneficial for individuals looking to reduce body fat percentage. It activates brown adipose tissue, which is involved in fat metabolism. 

Safety Tips for Cold Therapy

While cold therapy has numerous benefits, it’s essential to practice it safely. To do so, it’s important to take the following steps to help prevent any potential health issues or injuries: 

  • Consult a medical professional before beginning any cold therapy regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
  • Always start with shorter exposure times and gradually increase them as your body adapts
  • Be careful not to overdo it. Avoid getting to the point where you start to shiver, exit just before this happens. 
  • Avoid shallow breathing. Focus on taking long, deep breaths in thru your nose and out thru your mouth to keep your body and nervous system calm.

Is Cold Therapy Right For You?

Are you intrigued by the potential health and post-workout benefits of cold therapy? Do you have questions or concerns about incorporating it into your wellness routine? 

Loyalty Fitness is here to help. 

Contact our team today for expert guidance on how to safely and effectively integrate cold therapy into your quest for better healing.

CHALLENGE

At the end of your next shower, turn the temperature to as cold as you can handle for 30 seconds. Focus on your breath- inhaling thru your nose and exhaling thru your mouth, slow and steady. Switch back to hot water for 30 sec. And then back again to cold for another 30 sec. Each time you shower, try to slowly increase the time of cold exposure by 5-10 sec.