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Give Yourself a Cold Snap

cold Feb 01, 2020

Another trend that has been coming up a lot lately is the cold. Not the weather specifically, but cold exposure to your body such as with a cold shower. Is there a real benefit to it? And if so, how can you start implementing them into your life?

In my opinion yes, cold exposure can be beneficial to your body. However, like any change that you’re making, you don’t just jump in with both feet. You have to train your body to make changes. 

Benefits of Cold Exposure

Our bodies are used to being comfortable. After years of using air conditioners and heaters, we aren’t used to adapting to drastic temperature changes. I believe that this comfort is one of the reasons are metabolisms have slowed and our immune systems have weakened. One way to jolt your system is to get it used to cold exposure. Short of cold therapy, the fastest way for most people to do this is by taking cold showers. 

The benefits of cold showers are:

  • Activate brown adipose tissue (helps boost your metabolism)
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Decrease downtime and muscle soreness after strenuous workouts
  • Slows the aging process
  • Helps with your hormonal profile
  • Boost circulation
  • Your skin and hair will look and feel better

The problem is, people look at this list of benefits and get hung up on them rather than testing and feeling whether or not it’s working for them. They sometimes will try cold exposure therapy focusing on one or two benefits, and give up before the benefits have a chance to kick in. 

How to Start Implementing Cold Exposure

If you want to try implementing cold exposure into your life to enjoy the benefits, and more importantly to be healthier overall, here’s what I suggest you do:

First, commit to a 30-day trial. Now, this doesn’t mean 30 days of cold showers. Instead, commit to three days a week for 30 days. This also doesn’t mean getting into the shower and starting it on cold. A better option when you’re first starting out is to begin with warm water flow first, and slowly turn the dial to get cooler. Breathe and relax, and let your body adapt to the feeling. For many of my clients, they do a 10-week progression to slowly adapt and practice cold exposure. 

Hot Water Can Boost Benefits of Cold Exposure Therapy

It’s important to note that hot water is not bad. In fact, I recommend taking a hot or warm bath with minerals and Epsom salts occasionally to get into a relaxed state. This is especially helpful on rough days because it will calm you down and help you get deeper sleep that night. 

Speaking of sleep, that is another critical component of your health. All the cold exposure therapy in the world won’t help if you’re not getting good sleep. A combination of cold showers, hot saunas, warm baths, and deep sleep, etc… are all elements of a well-balanced physical body. 

Using cold exposure regularly will help your mind and your body. Just remember not to try and go all in at once. It’s better to slowly build up the ability to handle to cold exposure so you will be more likely to continue using it. Remember, we’re wired to try and warm up when we get cold, but sometimes discomfort is necessary for optimal health.

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