Take the Cold Plunge
Take the Cold Plunge
Cold water therapy, also known as cryotherapy, is a technique that involves exposing the body to cold temperatures in order to improve health and wellness. This practice has been used for centuries by various cultures around the world, and recent research has shown that it can have a number of beneficial effects on the body.
Benefits of Cold Water Therapy
One of the most well-known benefits of cold water therapy is its ability to reduce inflammation. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, the blood vessels constrict, which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the affected area. This can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from chronic inflammation, such as those with arthritis or autoimmune diseases.
Improve Heart Health
In addition to reducing inflammation, cold water therapy can also help to improve cardiovascular health. The constriction of blood vessels that occurs during cold water therapy can help to improve blood flow and circulation, which can have a number of positive effects on the heart and circulatory system. This can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Boost Your Immune System
Another benefit of cold water therapy is its ability to boost the immune system. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, it can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infection and disease. This can help to improve overall immune function and reduce the risk of illness.
Good for Mental Health
Cold water therapy can also have a positive effect on mental health. The practice of immersing oneself in cold water can be a form of stress relief, as it can help to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. In addition, the rush of adrenaline that occurs during cold water therapy can provide a sense of excitement and help to improve mood.
How to Do It
Cold Showers and Baths
One of the most popular ways to practice cold water therapy is by taking a cold shower or bath. To do this, simply turn the water temperature down as low as you can comfortably handle and spend a few minutes washing your body. It's important to start slowly and gradually increase the length of time you spend in the cold water, as this can help your body to adapt to the temperature change.
Another option is to try cold water immersion, which involves submerging the body in cold water for an extended period of time. This can be done in a cold pool, a lake, or even the ocean. It's important to make sure you are adequately prepared before attempting this, as it can be quite extreme. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing, such as a wetsuit or drysuit, and start slowly, gradually increasing the amount of time you spend in the cold water. Gradually work up from 10 second intervals to a full two-minute plunge or longer.
The length of time you should spend in a cold plunge or ice bath will vary depending on your individual tolerance for cold temperatures and your specific goals for using the cold plunge. As a general rule, it's best to start with a shorter amount of time and gradually increase the duration over time. Some people may be able to tolerate longer periods in a cold plunge right away, while others may need to build up to longer durations gradually. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your limits.
If you're interested in trying cold water therapy, it's important to talk to your doctor first. This is especially important if you have any medical conditions that may be affected by the practice. In addition, it's important to listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel any discomfort or pain.
Overall, cold water therapy can be a powerful tool for improving health and wellness. It can help to reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and provide a sense of stress relief. If you're interested in trying cold water therapy, be sure to talk to your doctor and start slowly to ensure that you are doing it safely and effectively.
Take the plunge and let us know how it works for you!
Kristine Sperling and the Makes 3 Organics Wellness Team
Kristine Sperling is a wellness enthusiast and co-founder of Makes 3 Organics, an organic brand dedicated to providing consumers organic alternatives to conventional personal care products. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her co-founder husband, Dan, their teenager, Alice, and their blue Shih Tzu, King.