Cold Exposure and the Health Benefits it Can Provide
If you have ever taken a cold shower or jumped into an icy lake, you might be familiar with that feeling of invigoration and clarity of mind. But did you know there are numerous health benefits to be gained from exposing yourself to the cold?
From enhancing brain function to boosting immune system responses, cold exposure is becoming increasingly popular as part of holistic health plans. It may sound intimidating at first, but taking regular cold showers can be surprisingly enjoyable - once you get used to it!
Here's how to get started: Begin by taking short (2-4 minute) cool showers. Gradually decrease the temperature over several weeks until you are comfortable with colder temperatures. Then start increasing the duration in 5-10 second increments. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or cold, you are doing it right! This is where the development of your inner strength starts. You will start to develop a mindset that is more resilient to uncomfortable situations and you will begin to build mental strength.
Once you are comfortable with how cold showers make you feel, why not try adding a backyard cold plunge? Setting up a cold plunge in your own backyard is surprisingly easy and can provide even deeper health benefits than regular cold showers. All you need is an above-ground pool or large container filled with ice water - or even snow! There are water chillers available online that can cool off the water to the desired temperature so you can save water and ice.
Before entering the water, take some deep breaths and follow a good meditation to set yourself up for success, this is going to be UNCOMFORTABLE! Psych yourself up for the chill that awaits you. When it's time to get out of the water, dry off quickly and warm yourself up with some hot drinks or blankets. Always check with your doctor before attempting a new health practice to be sure that you are in good health to withstand the new modality.
Cold exposure might sound intimidating at first, but the benefits can be huge. So don't be afraid to take the plunge and reap these fantastic health rewards!
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Tyler VandenBosch, RN, Health & Wellness Coach