Cold water immersion
From jumping in the sea to a cold shower, when we immerse the body in cold water, the shock of this lower temperature stimulates many of the body’s essential systems and helps kickstart our body into action. Regular cold water immersion can also benefit the mind-body connection; promoting a greater sense of wellbeing, boosting energy and mood. We have outlined a number of benefits that this simple and effective technique can have. Try incorporating it into your morning shower - starting with a 30 second burst of cold water - the key is to breathe calmly and deeply throughout and try and relax your muscles. If you are lucky to live near open water swimming locations, try getting into regular habits of immersing the body in oceans, rivers or lakes for that intense body boost all year round.
When we immerse the body in cold water, our hearts are forced to pump harder and more efficiently, sending blood to surround our vital organs whilst supplying every part of our body with oxygen and essential nutrients. Good circulation is key to our overall health, so this is a good addition alongside regular exercise and a nutritious, balanced diet which are both key factors for optimum circulation health.
Cold water triggers our brain to flood the body with mood-boosting neurotransmitters, we love the warm fuzzy feeling you get after a burst of cold water in a morning shower, your skin feels tingly and alive. The mood boosting effects of regular cold water swimming are also well documented, many people feel energised, revitalised and happier afterwards.
LYMPHATIC + IMMUNE SYSTEMS
Contact with cold water causes our lymph vessels to contract which boosts our lymphatic system into action flushing out waste and toxins. This also has the benefit of triggering the immune system’s white blood cells to attack and destroy unwanted waste. Exercise is a great way to keep a healthy lymphatic system, as it relies on muscle contraction to pump the lymph fluid through the vessels, cold water immersion also stimulates these necessary contractions and so is a great addition to your exercise routine.
LEANING INTO DISCOMFORT
Consciously deciding to put our bodies through an uncomfortable experience can help increase our mental toughness. By simply turning the temperature down in the shower on a regular basis, we are overriding the bodies natural state of comfort, finding a state in which we can truly learn and find that inner strength.
Have you ever wondered why athletes have ice baths after exercise? Cold water immersion can help reduce inflammation of muscles, the temperature works to constrict blood vessels which helps to reduce swelling and aids quick recovery.