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How To Exercise In Extreme Cold

For many people, the extreme cold and exercise are two things that do not go together. This attitude pervades even the world of professional sports. For instance, during the 2021-22 FIS Nordic Combined World Cup held in Ruka, Finland this November, several athletes participating in the cross-country skiing event withdrew at the last minute, citing the extreme cold as reasons. This includes the Finnish Olympic champions, Ilivo Niskanen, who said the extreme cold was too much for him. Yet, many athletes do manage to exercise in the extreme cold and people like Wim Hof have shown how adaptable the body is to extreme cold, given the right preparation. Recently, a group of scientists led by Hannes Gatterer, published a report on “Practicing Sport in Cold Environments”, whose practical recommendations I think will be useful for you.

Cold Negatively Affects Performance

It’s obvious once you think about it that no records are ever set under extreme cold conditions. However, the reasons for this are not as clear as they are for why people perform better under warm conditions or underperform under hot weather. For example, when a group of cyclists were asked to ride to the point of exhaustion at 64 °F and -4 °F, scientists found there was no difference in terms of oxygen consumption, but, the cylists gave up at around 67 minutes under extreme cold, but cycled for 112 minutes under warm conditions.

Broadly, we do know that our muscles perform better when they are warm. A rule of thumb is that an increase of 1°C (0.6°F) in a person’s muscle temperature has a corresponding improvement in power and strength of between two and five percent. This would impact muscle coordination, endurance, and obviously, strength and power under extreme cold. However, there is also a psychological reason for underperformance: it is very difficult to focus under extreme cold. Try playing a slots game at a casino and you'll see how difficult it is. These are some of the เกมส์สล็อตแตกง่ายที่สุด.

Practices Makes Better

There is evidence that people can adapt to extreme cold, however, there is no evidence of any appreciable adaptation within a single lifetime. Exposure will not result in increased insulation and metabolism. However, exposure therapy in the form of cold baths and Wim Hof style exposure therapy, can have some marginal adaptation benefits or allow players to willfully regulate their autonomic function during cold exposure. Exposure may even train you to control your mental response to the cold, although some studies suggest that too much exposure prior to performance can be counterproductive from a biological point of view.

Dress Appropriately

One of the most obvious ways to combat the extreme cold is also the best defense against extreme cold: dress for the weather. The science suggests wearing merino base layers because of their superior thermal insulation properties as well as water absorbency. This is important because when you first dress up, you will feel comfortable under the cold, but as you exercise, your body heats up thanks to your metabolism and as you sweat, your body cools down, making you uncomfortable. So you need something which will absorb your sweat, keeping you warm and comfortable as you exercise.

About The Author

stash member Adam Alosi