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Supermodel gets hot by plunging herself into ice-cold water

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When Fashion Week heats up, model Kylie Vonnahme prefers to cool down — way down.

Cold plunging, or dunking one’s body into frigid water, is how the 24-year-old stunner likes to get gorgeous before hitting the catwalk for the industry’s biggest fashion houses, including Chanel, Versace and, most recently, Christian Siriano during the brand’s NYFW show at the Empire State Building last week.

She told The Post that her regular icy dips — for as much as 10 minutes at a time — are her “ultimate beauty tip,” especially before photoshoots and events. In fact, Vonnahme, who recently began cold-plunging on a lark while spending time in the Hamptons during colder months, claims it’s enough to get her out of bed every morning.

“I don’t even need a cup of coffee in the morning anymore because I am so energized after a plunge,” she told The Post of the daily ritual, which she usually does in her apartment’s gym or in the frosty waves of the North Atlantic during winter.

“These plunges give you a full body-high that can’t be explained until you try it for yourself,” Vonnahme said.

In cold climates across the globe there are groups known for taking regular polar plunges. The annual event at New York City’s Coney Island Beach saw hundreds attend for the 119th year on New Year’s Day last month.

Kylie Vonnahme began taking ice-cold swims while spending time in the Hamptons during winter, and quickly felt the benefits.
Photo credit to “Social Accelera
Kylie Vonnahme walking for Christian Siriano
In February 2022, Vonnahme walked for Christian Siriano during New York Fashion Week.
Photo credit to “Social Accelera

But it’s more than a viral challenge. While it takes some real guts to willingly endure sub-freezing waters, some of the biggest names in beauty, entertainment, sports and beyond have touted cold bathing as one of Mother Nature’s best-kept wellness secrets — and the rare celebrity practice that may actually have the backing of the medical community.

The practice triggers a response that helps the body release stress — which has a host of biological benefits, said Dr. Zachary Mulvihill, integrative medicine expert at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian.

“Let’s call stress ‘tension,’ because that’s what happens when you’re stressed. You need to release tension,” Mulvihill told The Post.

When a person braves those frigid waters, the act taps into one’s fight-or-flight response. In times of danger, it’s an automatic physical reaction that gives you the endorphins needed to run for your life. But in a controlled environment — such as a dip in the ocean — a jolt of cold can kickstart a chemical shockwave that ripples through the body, like a chemical reset button that helps reduce widespread inflammation caused by stress and poor diet.

thermometer
Vonnahme shares her cold-plunging achievements with her 32,000 followers on Instagram.
Photo credit to “Social Accelera
Kylie Vonnahme taking cold plunge
The 24-year-old model doesn’t always make it look easy.
Photo credit to “Social Accelera
Kylie Vonnahme cold plunging
Despite the brain and body boost Vonnahme gets from cold-plunging, she said, “No one else in my life is crazy enough to join.”
Photo credit to “Social Accelera

Chronic inflammation is said to be the root of some 80% of all health conditions, Mulvihill said. He and other medical experts today believe there’s something fortifying about mild repeated exposure to stress that helps us both physically and mentally be better prepared for real, potentially life-threatening events.

That explains why Vonnahme is seeing those mood-boosting benefits, even during hectic Fashion Week. But the practice could help her see more work in the long run — and not just because her cold plunge action shots are so hot on Instagram.

Inflammation shows up on the outside, too.

“The skin is a reflection of your internal health,” said Mulvihill, who explained that, when we make healthy lifestyle choices, “the first tissue to get nourished is the blood — plasma — and the second is skin.”

Mulvihill likens the effects to taking a few deep breaths. The act of engaging your diaphragm this way tugs on the vagus nerve — the nervous system’s “master switch” — that stretches up from the brain stem and down the through the abdomen. The deliberate exercise is a way of telling your brain it’s time to rest and digest, according to Mulvihill.

Kylie Vonnahme walking for Chanel
At 16, Vonnahme was discovered by a modeling scout while attending a Taylor Swift concert. Soon after, she walked for Chanel.
Kylie Vonnahme at the beach
Aside from her more fashionable pursuits, Vonnahme also hosts the health and wellness podcast “The Not So Simple Life.”
Photo credit to “Social Accelera

Vonnahme, who also hosts health and wellness podcast “The Not So Simple Life” in her spare time, said the sometimes painful routine is just the cost of doing business.

“As a model, the majority of your career is reliant on how you look,” said the Dallas-native, who was discovered at a Taylor Swift concert when she was just 16 and moved to New York six years ago.

Of course, you don’t need to do swim backstrokes in a frozen lake to see the benefits — a quick, cold shower will do, said Mulvihill. “Personally I think people can go a little overboard,” he said.

But despite the myriad benefits, Vonnahme said she and the other die-hards in the cold-plunging community don’t expect the beauty secret to get especially popular.

“No one else in my life is crazy enough to join us.”




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