Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has a sauna and an ice bath 3 times a day: What can this do to your body?

Getting a glimpse into the daily routines of the rich and famous is certainly fascinating – remember when Mark Wahlberg revealed he was getting up at 2.30am, working out for a total of two hours and 35 minutes over the course of the day, and playing golf on top of that?

While Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s regime might not be quite so strict (or designed to get him in shape for a movie role), he still does some pretty brutal things every day in aid of his mental and physical health.

Speaking on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, the 42-year-old revealed he only eats one meal on weekdays and completely fasts over the weekend – which seems like an almost unfathomable level of self-control considering Twitter offers free food in its staff canteens. He also spoke about his use of saunas and cold water immersion therapy.

“The other thing on physical health that has had probably the largest impact in terms of how I feel, but also mental clarity, is sauna and cold,” he explains on the podcast. Most mornings he spends three minutes in an ice bath, followed by 15 minutes in a sauna, and does this routine three times, before ending in the cold for about a minute. “I could wrap that whole thing up in about an hour, so I love that,” he adds.

Dorsey tends to use an infrared sauna during the week, but uses a dry sauna on the weekend when he wants to relax a bit more. “I feel a lot more energised, I feel a lot cleaner,” he says of doing this every day.

Unfortunately, “there is insufficient evidence that having a sauna followed by cold water immersion has any significant medical benefits,” says Farrah Jawad, consultant in sport and exercise medicine at Pure Sports Medicine. So what effect could this routine have on your mind and body?

What’s the deal with saunas?

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🙏🏼The Pillars of Recovery🙏🏼 1️⃣ SLEEP😴 Focus on quality and quantity i.e aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet room. 2️⃣ NUTRITION🥦 Eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet rich in plant foods. Ensure you get enough protein but don’t overdo it. The majority of the population wayyyy overeat protein, especially in the fitness industry. Aim for 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (depending on training status) 3️⃣ INTERMITTENT FASTING🤐 Long periods of restricted eating stimulates Autophagy i.e the body’s process of clearing out damaged and redundant cells. Try 16:8, 18:6, skip a meal...just fast from time to time. 4️⃣ KEEP MOVING🏃🏻‍♂️ Make sure you move often at low levels. Don’t just sit around. Movement has healing properties. It stimulates blood flow and anti-inflammatory immune cells, helps buffer metabolic byproducts, improves insulin and blood sugar control (to name a few). 5️⃣ MANAGE STRESS🙏🏼 Breathe, meditate, play, listen to music, spend time in nature, and allow your hormones and parasympathetic nervous system (rest + digest system) to function properly. Give your adrenals and sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) a rest. 6️⃣ TREAT YOURSELF😊 Treat yourself to some self-love in the form of massage, cryotherapy, infrared saunas, or whatever makes you happy. - If you have any methods of recovery that you enjoy, please comment below. I’d love to hear them!

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“Saunas can be very relaxing when used for a short period of time, such as 15 minutes or less, and may relieve aching muscles and give a general sense of wellbeing. However, sauna use is not suitable for everybody, such as those with certain heart problems and in pregnancy,” says Jawad.

“Being in a sauna would cause blood vessels in the body to dilate and that can make people feel faint, which is why it is important not to sit in a sauna for too long. It is [also] important to ensure one is sufficiently hydrated before and after using a sauna.”

And cold water immersion?

“Cold water immersion, particularly after exercise, is a popular practice but there is little evidence that it facilities recovery or improves performance; some studies say that it does and some studies say that it doesn’t,” explains Jawad.

“There are a lot of factors at play, which make it difficult to design studies to look at the effects of cold water immersion. For example, such studies would need to take into account the physical attributes of the athlete, how long they should be immersed for, what the temperature of the water should be, and how deep should the water be, etc.

“The other problem with cold water immersion is the potential for invoking a cold shock response – a physiological response which can cause involuntary inhalation – basically taking a breath in that you cannot control – which means a person could inhale water and potentially drown.

“Vasoconstriction can occur, which is narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which could be dangerous in those with pre-existing heart problems. Hypothermia is less of an issue with short term immersion in water, but can certainly occur the longer an individual spends immersed in cold water.”

What about Dorsey’s routine?

“Spending a dedicated time away from work having a short break can be very helpful to relax and regain focus,” says Jawad. “Making time to do a little exercise in the day as an active rest period, or doing something else relaxing is probably going to be just as rewarding. It comes down to the individual working out what works for them.”

- Press Association

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