Cold For Health Benefits! Is Cold-Exposure Bio-Hacking Good For Seniors Or Could It Create More Problems?

Date December 28, 2018

To most people, the cold is an enemy and to conquer it, we protect ourselves with warm clothes and seek sources of heat to try and reduce its lethalness to our human bodies. However, according to extreme athlete Wim Hof, popularly known as ‘The Iceman,’ the cold can be our friend as we can use it to “attack our real problems.”

READ ALSO: "One Of My Crazy Goals Is To Swim In A Glacial Lake In Just A Little Bikini": Woman Tried The Cold-Exposure Method And She Loved It!

While cold therapy has been popular among athletes who found that it helps to reduce pain and discomfort, the bio-hacking technique has likewise received criticism since it’s not scientifically proven and holds several risks. Well, all controversy aside, Wim Hof’s cold-exposure method has been found to have great benefits for the body.


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Benefits of cold-exposure for seniors

According to Wim Hof, homeostasis, or the state in which our bodies find everything it needs from the environment, is not optimal since the human biology needs physical and environmental stress to invigorate our nervous system.


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Cold-exposure has been found to have great benefits that would make the lives of seniors better by strengthening their bodies from the inside out. Some of the direct benefits include heightening of mental awareness, tweaking of insulin production, and most importantly, strengthening of circulatory muscles.

Circulatory muscles play a critical role in our bodies as they aid in the flow of blood around the body. The method suggests that cold could help these muscles get stronger. Essentially, exposure to cold temperatures can actually help seniors to prevent circulatory diseases that cause over 30% of all global mortality.


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Studies have also shown that cold-exposure can help to reverse the symptoms of diabetes that have come to affect seniors. In a study on the impact of cold on men suffering from type 2 diabetes, lower temperatures helped to tweak insulin production and within 10 days, their blood sugar levels were found to be lowered. So, it would seem that cold could be most beneficial for reducing diabetes as a major health risk for older adults.

READ ALSO: 10 Differences Between A Common Cold And Allergies

Risks of cold-exposure for seniors 

While the cold appears to be most attractive for most seniors, care should be taken when following The Iceman’s method, since older people have more risks. Firstly, for seniors, exposure to extreme cold might lead to frostbite, where the skin and underlying tissues freeze, which might cause the loss of feeling and even amputation in severe cases.  


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Another significant risk from cold is that for older people who produce less body heat, they might easily suffer from hypothermia as the body temperature might plummet. Hypothermia might lead to symptoms such as shivering, fumbling hands, memory loss, and drowsiness – conditions that are very risky to seniors.  

Wim Hof is 59-years-old and he's setting world records!

However, Wim Hof feels that the cold is not that great a risk for seniors since even at 59 years of age, he is still setting world records for ‘longest ice baths’ and he’s never been cooler.

The extreme sport athlete, who holds over 26 world records due to this ability to withstand extreme cold, has promoted the ability of cold to benefit the human body, and his views have ignited research into the benefits of cold. And for many people, Wim Hof is a revolutionary who has opened their minds to greater health. 

So, would you be brave enough to step out into the cold? It might just be what you need to live a long and healthy life!

READ ALSO: Raynaud's Disease: When The Hands And Feet Become Numb And Change Color Due To Exposure To Cold

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.