A Healthier and Happier Life Through Sauna and Cold Therapy

An exciting new book by Danish author Susanna Søberg will take an invigorating dive into the latest research on heat therapy and cold exposure.

The conclusions are fascinating with practical implications about how long you should stay in the sauna or ice bath, the best protocol for metabolic response, and more.

Søberg has been at the forefront of understanding and explaining what is happening at a molecular level when humans do what they’ve always done: regularly expose themselves to temperature extremes on purpose.

Much like meditation and fasting, it’s another example crazy things humans have done for centuries before the science catches up.

Key Takeaways
They Work Together: Cold Therapy improves mitochondrial health, increasing the number of them. Heat makes the mitochondria more efficient, resulting in better use of oxygen in blood. Routinely doing them together is better than sauna alone.

Frequency: Get in a total of 10 minutes of cold each week, and about 1 hour of heat each week spread out over 2-3 sessions.

Protocol: The best sequence for hot and cold exposure is bad news for those of us who like to end our sessions in the sauna. To get the best metabolic response, and the results from the studies you want to start and end with cold exposure….

COLD -> HOT -> COLD -> HOT -> COLD

Why End in the Cold?

While it may not be what you want to hear, the clear conclusions from scientific research is that it’s optimal to end sauna routines in the cold, letting your body do the heavy lifting to warm your body after the final cold plunge.

The reason for this was coined the Soeberg Principle by Dr. Andrew Huberman, a Stanford Neuroscience Professor.

The Soeberg Priciple: Ending a sauna practice in a cold plunge forces the body to increase thermogenesis, which increases metabolism

The Soeberg Principle: When using deliberate cold exposure to increase your metabolism, minimize hot showers & sauna after the last cold exposure. Forcing your body to re-warm on its own is a major component of the metabolism & brown fat (healthy, thermogenic fat) stimulation.

Dr. Andrew Huberman

An important note about how long to stay in the sauna, is to follow your body and take it easy at first. As Soeberg says, “Stay until you are uncomfortable, but safe to build up resilience.”

We look forward to this book being released in the US in the summer of 2022, and learning more about the science behind a great sauna practice.

When something sounds crazy but has been practiced for thousands of years, it’s usually just a matter of time before the science catches up.

Note: The book , ‘Winter Swimming: The Nordic Way Towards a Healthier and Happier Life’ will be available in English September 29, 2022. You can preorder it here.
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