AN exercise instructor has revealed how turning down the central heating this winter can help make you happier and healthier.
The Co Louth based instructor has climbed freezing temperatures wearing online boots and shorts.
And he says exposing your body to colder temperatures can have real benefits.
John McKeown believes that the cold will actually rebuild a natural layer of brown fat insulation that we are born with, but lose gradually due to factors such as central heating.
The Wim Hof instructor has taught hundreds of people the exercise method which combines breathing, cold therapy and commitment to help you connect more deeply to your body
Proponents say the technique can lead to increased immunity, better sleep and reduced stress .
The Dunany resident says the method can also help people this winter build up a defunct layer of natural brown fat insulation in their bodies to counteract lowering the thermostats in the house.
Soaring electricity and fuel bills will see householders across the country limit their heating and pull on an extra jumper this winter.
However, John says the Wim Hof method can also make you feel happier while feeling the cold and not just because you are saving money from hefty bills
He said: “If you can control your breathing, you can keep warm.
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“I have taught workshops to people up in their 80s on the method of breathing which produces anti-inflammatory hormones for short periods of time
“It also produces adrenaline and can help conditions such as psoriasis and depression
“The cold has many benefits and believe it or not, can give us a shot of dopamine which is the happy hormone. Breath control is stress control.
“We are all born with a natural insulator. A layer of brown fat which is why you see children wearing next to nothing in the cold.
“However due to electric blankets and central heating, the body loses this over time but this system allows it to regenerate
“Get your breathing under control, get used to cold showers gradually and get out in the cold air wearing a layer less for even a few minutes can all help live in cooler indoor temperatures.”
However, John warns that Wim Hof is not for everybody and people with certain health conditions such as heart ailments and epilepsy or who are pregnant should seek medical advice before participating in the practice
John himself has in the past climbed Croagh Patrick on charity Christmas Day fundraiser wearing nothing but shorts and a pair of boots and has endured a five hour climb in freezing temperatures of between -8 and -13 degrees in Poland, again wearing only boots and shorts as part of his training to become an instructor.
He added: “I practice the breathing method and have a cold shower every morning and an ice bath at least once a week and have never felt better”
- More information can be obtained from John at Instagram: @LovingOxygen and Facebook.com/LovingOxygen.