I’m no stranger to cold. Growing up and living in Finland cold exposure is in many ways inevitable. Even when you don´t want it. However, I have never really gotten into the Finnish craze, if I may even call it that, of “avanto.”
Avanto is a Finnish word for when you have a hole in the ice that people dip into… for fun?! Sounds a bit strange. Not for me, but I was wrong (yes even that happens on occasion). Now I might even say I am slightly addicted to it. Keeping windows open everywhere. Dipping my hands into any cold water I can find. At times I even find myself longing for the cold and just getting that stingy but very fresh kind of feeling in my body. That feeling of sharpness and awareness that I get in my body and mind. What has happened to me? Since when did I start liking the cold?
This is me approximately two weeks into my avantopool journey of dipping into cold water on a regular basis. Journey of becoming a self-proclaimed cold plunger. Why? So that I can write this column for you as truthfully and authentically as I possibly can about cold exposure. I also want to give you insight into what your journey could possibly be like.
Okay, I am not all that selfless. I was also very curious and wanted to get those long-term benefits that everyone talks about. Plus, I exercise a lot so I am hoping it will help my recovery and take my performance up to new levels. So yes, I admit, there may be a couple of more selfish reasons behind it too. Everyone has their own reason for starting, whether it is for performance, sleep, health, or simply wanting to do something different, a new healthy habit.
Regardless of my reasons, I am taking you with me on this exploration of cold exposure starting from day one. We will discover together the science behind it and the science that is still ongoing, all while trying it out for ourselves.
I have a disclaimer though. I am not a scientist, doctor, or a professor in this field (or any for that matter). However, I will be bringing you articles and knowledge from people who are mixed with my personal experience.
If you are just starting your cold therapy journey, have done it for a while, or are thinking about it, I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and about your journey. After all, cold water plungers are a community, and it is more fun when you don´t feel like you are alone.