Did you know Madonna, Katherine Hepburn, Liam Neeson, and Lady Gaga regularly take cold baths?
And Tony Robbins takes a 5 degrees Celsius ice bath every morning!
Why do they all love cold water therapy?
British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that having cold showers has multiple positive effects on the human body. Increased heart rate, better blood pressure, and respiratory rate are a few of those.
In this article, we will summarise the benefits of cold therapy and help you understand why you should consider having cold baths.
What is Cold Water Therapy?
People have been using cold water for positive body effects for quite a long time. The modern practice involves using water around 15 degrees cold for baths.
The cold water immersion stimulates natural healing mechanisms which can help recover from various medical conditions as well as help strengthen a healthy lifestyle.
Most importantly, if practiced regularly cold water baths can transform your immune system, blood circulation, digestive system, and more permanently.
The modern forms of cold water therapy include iced baths, cold showers, cold water immersion, and outdoor swims.
Why you should start cold water therapy
1. Improved Blood Circulation
Blood circulation is one of the most important aspects of human health, if not the most important one. Every other system such as the digestive system or immune system depends upon the functionality of the blood circulation.
Any hindrance in blood circulation can lead to problems such as headache, fatigue, muscle cramping, and even heart attack in worse case scenarios. Cold water therapy helps avoid all these problems by maintaining a good heart rate and better pumping.
When you immerse your body in cold water, the brain signals the blood to reach vital organs. Then the heart is ordered to pump more blood so that the entire body can have its share. Thus the entire body enjoys efficient blood circulation. If practiced regularly, this can help transform digestive, immune, and any other system you can think of.
2. Healthier Immune System
According to a study by PLoS One journal, people who take regular cold baths are 29% less likely to miss a day of school or work due to sickness.
3018 people were involved in their research. All of them took a hot shower and then cold water in three different durations; 30, 60, and 90 seconds. However, one group didn’t take any cold showers at all.
An interesting point taken from the study is that the people who took cold showers and didn’t take sick leaves experienced the same sick days. This concluded that taking cold baths didn’t reduce the actual sickness but suppressed its effects at the level where the patients were able to carry on with their normal routine.
Another interesting conclusion was that the duration of the bathes didn’t affect the results at all. There was no difference between the people who took 30, 60, and 90 seconds of cold showers.
3. Fast Recovery from Muscle Soreness
If you have ever worked out in a gym then you must know about muscle soreness very well. Remember the days after the first or intense workout? Every muscle soaring and making you turn in the bed!
For some people, this pain accumulates to the level where they are forced to take anti-inflammatory medicine. This condition is commonly known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Why does this happen though?
Muscle tissues are torn when they are worked out and rebuild themselves in better shape. However, in some instances, the rebuild process is delayed and causes inflammation.
According to a study by PubMed, cold water therapy can help with these side effects. When you immerse your body in cold water, torn tissue’s temperature is dropped and the blood vessels are constricted. Which ultimately leads to reduced inflammation and swelling. Moreover, the procedure numbs the nerve endings, helping reduce the pain.
The bottom line is that though the idea of immersing your body in icy cold water is challenging, it can help you in various parts of your life.
We have mentioned only a handful of benefits of cold therapy in this article. However, improved blood circulation, healthier immune system, and fast muscle soreness recovery lead towards other benefits such as better digestive system, boosted metabolism, sound sleep, better mood, less fatigue, and much more.
Please share your experience of cold water therapy in the comments and let’s have a healthy and informative discussion.