By: Rebecca Hummer of Pura Vida Yoga & Physical Training in Maryland
Have you ever taken a cold shower, submerged in an ice bath or even splashed your face with freezing cold water? If so, you instantly noticed a change in your breathing. That instant reset. Yes. Let’s discuss.
This is a great way to reduce stress levels for yourself. But how? Regularly taking cold showers imposes a small amount of stress on your body. By doing this, it leads to a process called hardening in which your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress. This hardening process in turn aids you to remain calm, the next time you find yourself in a higher stress occurrence. Exposure therapy at its finest.
Cold therapy also helps with higher levels of alertness. The cold showers awakens your body, inducing a higher state of alertness. This is known to stimulate you into taking deeper diaphragm breaths also known as a three part breath. This decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body, aiding your focus and concentration. Cold showers can keep you ready with a head on a swivel focus throughout the day and week.
Another benefit is your immune response. Studies have suggested that taking a cold shower increases the number of white blood cells throughout your entire body. These blood cells then work to protect your body against disturbing disease. It is believed that this process is connected to and responsible for an increased metabolic rate, which stimulates the immune response. Strength in numbers I would say!
Next is the increase in willpower. Many would agree that it takes a strong-willed mind to endure frigid cold temps for an extended duration. Incorporating cold showers/baths into your daily routine, one will begin the process of strengthening their willpower, which then also benefits other aspects of the day. For beginners, one may start with a 30 sec cold shower/bath and increase by will there after.
Lastly, weight loss has been shown from the exposure to cold showers/baths increasing metabolic rate directly. It is known to stimulate the generation of brown fat. Brown fat specifically is a type of fat tissue that in turn generates energy by burning calories. Cold showers are an effective tool for people who are looking to lose a few pounds.
In summary, we hope you cool off, take a load off, or even splash your face to breathe and refresh mind and body. In this process, receptors creating both Dopamine and Noradrenaline will help mental health as well. It all helps to get back to senses. What a great time to start heading into summer while we are blessed with polar opposite warmer temps! Stay Cool!!!
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