If you’re like me, the thought of voluntarily jumping into a body of freezing cold water sounds about as appealing as getting a root canal. But as it turns out, there are some pretty compelling reasons to give cold water therapy a try. In this blog post, we’ll explore what cold water therapy is, what the benefits are, and whether or not it’s worth giving it a go. So let’s dive in (pun intended)!
This is a, let’s just say an interesting reference for you.
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Table of Contents
What Is Cold Water Therapy?
Also known as “cold therapy” or “cryotherapy,” cold water therapy is the practice of using cold water to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation. This can be done in a number of ways, including ice baths or barrels in this case, ice packs, and even just swimming in cold water. While the temperature will vary depending on the method used, the goal is always to expose the body to temperatures that are below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Benefits Of Cold Water Therapy
So why would anyone subject themselves to such frigid temperatures? Turns out, there are actually a number of benefits associated with cold water therapy. These benefits include:
- Reduced inflammation: When you expose your body to cold temperatures, the blood vessels constrict. This reduces swelling and inflammation.
- Faster muscle recovery: Muscle soreness is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle tissue. The reduced blood flow that results from cold therapy can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up the recovery process.
- Improved circulation: Cold water therapy forces your heart to work harder to maintain your body temperature. This can lead to improved circulation and cardiovascular health over time.
- Mental health benefits: Some studies have shown that cold water therapy can help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s believed that this is due to the release of endorphins (the “feel good” chemicals in your brain) that occurs when you’re exposed to cold temperatures.
- Weight loss: One study found that whole-body cryotherapy (a type of cold therapy that involves standing in a chamber filled with extremely cold air) can help burn up to 500 calories per session! If you’re looking to lose weight, cold therapy may be worth considering.
Some Science Data On Cold Water Therapy
The first thing to know is that there isn’t a ton of scientific research on the subject—yet. But the studies that have been conducted suggest that cold water therapy can provide some serious health benefits. For example, one study found that taking a cold shower can help relieve depression symptoms. Participants in the study who took cold showers reported feeling more alert and energetic than those who took warm showers.
Another study found that cold water therapy can help improve circulation and reduce inflammation. In the study, people with chronic inflammation who took cold baths three times a week for 10 minutes saw significant reductions in inflammation markers. They also had less pain and stiffness and improved range of motion.
Finally, cold water therapy has also been shown to boost immunity. In one study, people who took cold showers had a significantly lower risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections than those who took warm showers. They also had fewer sick days overall. So if you’re looking for a way to stay healthy this winter, add a cold shower to your daily routine.
Should You Try Cold Water Therapy?
Now that we know what cold water therapy is and what the potential benefits are, you may be wondering if it’s something you should try. As with anything, there are pros and cons to consider before making a decision.
Some potential drawbacks of cold water therapy include:
- It’s uncomfortable: There’s no sugarcoating it—cold water therapy can be uncomfortable (to say the least). If you have a low tolerance for pain or are generally sensitive to cold temperatures, this may not be the right choice for you.
- It can be dangerous: If not done properly, cold water exposure can lead to hypothermia (when your body temperature drops too low). This is especially true if you have certain medical conditions like diabetes or Raynaud’s disease (a condition that affects blood flow). Be sure to talk with your doctor before trying any type of cold water exposure if you have any underlying health conditions.
- You need proper gear: If you’re going to givecold water therapy a try, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper gear—this includes things like wetsuits, gloves, and booties (to name just a few). Depending on how often you plan on doing it, this could get expensive quickly. Note the afore mentioned gear is only for the meek hearted. Hard core cold water plungers go all in their skivvies and skivvies alone.
The Perfect Things For Your Next Cold Water Plunge
The Filty Triple Purpose Towel is dare we say – amazing!
This Terry bathrobe is essential and it has a hood – well duhhh.
Oh the OOFOS – Yes please.
So there you have it—everything you need to know about cold water therapy! While it certainly has its drawbacks, there are also some pretty compelling reasons to give it a try if you’re looking for an alternative way to reduce inflammation or speed up muscle recovery. Just be sure to do your research first and consult with your doctor before taking the plunge!
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