It was the middle of last winter when I began appreciating the benefits of taking very cold showers. I must admit, the first 3 times were hard, but soon after it became so enjoyable that my body was actually asking for them. As the cold water touched me, I felt completely wrapped in the present moment where I was no longer doing, but rather just being. I felt 1000 times more alive showering like this than if I was engaging in any comfort habit like watching TV. The unique, intense sensation of the cold water rushing over my body was the feeling produced by my mitochondria multiplying through the process of mitochondrial biogenesis. Do you see? Our mitochondria will do absolutely everything to maintain body temperature at homeostasis (~98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) so that we don't die from hypothermia. Exposure to cold is one of the extreme conditions under which humans have evolved. Our physiology and biochemistry literally requires some exposure to more extreme conditions to function optimally and cold is one of those. This is the hormesis effect. Humans come to the world prepared with a good amount of brown adipose tissue to keep us warm. However, in our modern life, we have worked very hard to make our existence more comfortable and these choices have some consequences. Avoiding environmental extremes results in decreased metabolic resilience and makes us more fragile.
On the flip side, under hypothermic conditions, our mitochondria will quickly and naturally activate a process inside of our white adipose tissue (the fat storing cells that are packed in and around our vital organs) called mitochondrial uncoupling. This p