Could turning your shower to cold for the last 30 seconds each day be the fastest way to boost immune function in the body and increase metabolism?
Taking a cold shower may not sound like the best way to start the day, but this simple tip is actually incredibly good for you.
Coldwater immersion (or hydrotherapy) supports the body’s innate healing power by activating the immune, lymphatic, circulatory, and digestive systems. It is such a simple yet profound way to boost your health and vitality.
In Episode 2 of TRANSCENDENCE, ‘Overcoming Fear & Stress', Wim Hof (The Iceman) explains in his powerful interview how cold water immersion became the lifechanging tool for him to overcome stress and heal his trauma.
We are breaking down some of the scientifically proven health benefits below!
7 Health Benefits of Cold Exposure & Cold Showers
1. It’s Better Than Caffeine!
The temperature shock you feel from a cold shower or coldwater immersion gives a shock to the body that increases your heart rate, which in turn releases and stimulates the rush of blood throughout the body and oxygenates your cells which increases your alertness. This is great news for those that struggle to kick themselves into gear in the morning!
2. Reduce Stress and Feel Happier
Seems strange that forcing yourself to take a freezing shower can actually help you chill out and feel happier, but studies have shown that participants that did cold exposure daily experienced a boost in their mood. Researchers believe that these positive effects may be tied to cold exposure initiating the endocrine response and increasing levels of the endorphins and serotonin.
3. Beat Your Cold with Cold
Making cold exposure part of your regular daily healthy habits could help to boost your immune system's response in fighting off disease. It has been found that cold exposure can help to activate the white immune cells in your body, these are the ‘disease-fighting’ cells.
4. Improves Lymphatic System
It also upregulates your lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels that support the body to cleanse itself of waste, bacteria, and microbes. Coldwater therapy causes these vessels to contract and pump the lymph fluid around the body, thereby removing accumulated waste.
5. Increases Metabolism
It increases what is known as “brown fat”, this is a metabolically active type of fat that actually uses energy rather than storing it! Brown fat, unlike white fat, has been linked to increased metabolism and lower risk of obesity.
6. Reduces Pain & Improves Recovery
One of the more well-known health benefits of cold exposure as it’s used by many athletes for reducing pain and improving recovery. It’s believed that the cold reduces muscle fatigue and soreness, and is often used to alleviate inflammation and musculoskeletal pain for conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
7. Improves Your Brain Power!
With the boost of endorphins and serotonin, it may not surprise you that this also improves your brain power and cognitive function.
Now that you know some of the health benefits of cold water exposure, it’s time to #getchilly and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Start slowly and build your time up!
JOIN OUR COLD EXPOSURE COMMUNITY CHALLENGE
On July 22nd, we'll be kicking off the Cold Exposure Community Challenge in the Food Matters Community. When you finish your warm shower, switch to cold for 30 seconds and enjoy the invigorating cold water to wake up your mind, body, and immune system!
Share your experience on any social platform or in the Food Matters Community Group with the hashtag #GetChilly to be in the draw to win Food Matters Swag!
Cold Showers are one of our favorite morning rituals from our Food Matters Healthy Habits Manifesto. You can read about all 7 and download a copy of our manifesto here.
Health Disclaimer: Always do cold exposure and deep breathing exercises in a safe environment and unforced. Cold exposure and breathing exercises can have a profound effect on your body and should be practiced in the way it is safe for you. If you have a specific health ailment we recommend you consult with a health professional to help customize cold therapy to suit your individual needs.