Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of immersing yourself in icy cold water? It might sound like an odd concept, but people around the world have been engaging in this practice for centuries, particularly in Scandinavian countries like Norway and Sweden. This called cold water therapy.
Cold water therapy builds on the idea that exposing ourselves to cold temperatures for small periods of time can be beneficial to the body. Whether it’s an ice bath, a brisk shower, or a jump in a cold lake, there are numerous potential benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about cold water therapy.
What Is Cold Water Therapy?
Cold water therapy involves frigid water as a therapeutic solution for a range of ailments. In most cases, the water needs to be less than 15 degrees Celsius to make a positive impact. However, there are many people who use water much colder than this.
Cold water therapy is encouraged by a wide range of health professionals and celebrities. Some studies have shown it can help with things like reducing eczema flare ups.
Most advocates of cold water therapy believe immersing yourself in cold water can help to detox the body, boost the immune system, and deliver a range of other positive benefits.
What Are the Benefits Oof Cold Water Therapy?
Studies into the benefits of cold water therapy are somewhat limited. This means we can’t say for certain how beneficial it is. Additionally, there are some people who shouldn’t try this practice.
For instance, if you’re pregnant or have a heart condition, cold water therapy probably is not right for you.
However, limited studies dp indicate there may be a number of benefits to cold water therapy. Some of the most significant benefits include:
- Reducing muscle soreness: Studies consistently show that athletes who soak their bodies in cold water for a short period after exercise are less likely to experience severe muscle soreness later.
Scientists believe that cold water reduces pain because it causes the blood vessels in the body to constrict. This reduces blood moving into sore areas, minimizing the risk of inflammation and swelling.
- Temperature management: One of the most obvious benefits of cold water therapy is that it can help you to cool down rapidly if you’re overheated.
Submerging yourself in a pool of cold water allows you to cool off almost twice as quickly than if you don’t. However, you’ll need to make sure the shock isn’t too much for your body to bear.
- Managing depression: While cold water isn’t a cure for mental health conditions, it could help to alleviate certain symptoms of anxiety and depression.
One study found that a regimen of short cold showers led to fewer depressive symptoms in patients. While this solution might not work for everyone, it could be a way to get some of the symptoms of depression under control.
- Improved immunity: There’s some that cold water immersion can be useful for your body’s immune system.
- In addition, researchers looked at whether people could influence their own immune response with cold water immersion. The report found that using cold water therapy caused participants to produce anti- inflammatory agents and other helpful substances in their body when exposed to an infection.
Some health specialists also believe cold water immersion can improve your calorie-burning capacity. While more research is needed to verify these claims, some studies have been positive.
Should You Try Cold Water Therapy?
If you’re thinking of trying cold water therapy, it’s important to approach the process carefully. To help your body adjust, you should start with showers where you gradually drop the temperature. Alternatively, you can also go straight to a cold shower if you just need to cool off after working out.
If you’re going to be immersing yourself in an ice bath or jumping in icy cold water outdoors, it might be worth having a friend around just in case.
The sudden shock to your system when jumping into cold water could cause you to panic, which might make it harder to swim. You’ll also need to warm up quickly when you get out of cold water.
Wrapping yourself in warm towels after you get out of cold water will ensure your body temperature doesn’t continue to drop.
Try going to a professional center where cold therapy is offered at the facility. Many healthy and body wellness center offer cold water therapy as an option.