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Why cold water therapy is good for your health

BY Robyn Hatton

11th Jan 2024 Wellbeing

2 min read

Why cold water therapy is good for your health
With many people setting health goals as part of their New Year’s resolutions, here are the reasons why you should include cold water therapy in yours
As the dawn of the new year unfolds, and individuals across the globe set their resolutions for a fresh start, a burgeoning tradition is gaining momentum—plunging courageously into the embrace of cold waters for a revitalising dip. Beyond being a delightful, exciting activity, this practice extends its benefits to overall health, contributing to mood enhancement and fortification of the immune system.
"Cold water therapy has been linked to various health benefits, from better sleep to stress reduction"
Cold water therapy, alternatively known as “cold water immersion”, involves immersing the body in cold water for a brief yet impactful duration. This practice has been linked to various health benefits, encompassing the realms of reduced inflammation and muscle recovery, mood enhancement, improved sleep, stress reduction, and even benefits to skin, hair health and endurance. In delving deeper into the positive effects of this invigorating tradition, BonusFinder and Robyn Hatton, bikini competitor and online wellness coach, shed light on the manifold advantages it holds for the human body.  

Reduced inflammation and muscle recovery

Man uses gauze to bandage his hand
Cold water therapy emerges as a potential ally for individuals seeking relief from muscle soreness and inflammation following intense physical activity. By constricting blood vessels and reducing metabolic activity, this therapeutic approach may effectively mitigate swelling and tissue breakdown, promoting a quicker and more efficient recovery.

Mood enhancement

The immersion into cold water triggers an elevation in endorphin levels—the body's natural mood lifters. This surge in endorphins not only acts as a positive reinforcement mechanism but also plays a role in reducing symptoms associated with depression. Thus, cold water therapy becomes a holistic approach to fostering emotional wellbeing.

Improved sleep

Women sleeps in bed
The calming effects of cold water therapy extend to the realm of sleep. Some individuals report enhanced relaxation and improved sleep quality, particularly when engaging in this practice before bedtime. The soothing impact on the nervous system may contribute to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience.

Stress reduction

The activation of the body's stress response during cold water therapy holds the potential to enhance one's tolerance to stress over time.
"Regular exposure to cold water therapy may enhance your tolerance to stress"
Regular exposure to this practice may contribute to an increased resilience to stressors, fostering a more adaptive response to life's challenges.

Skin and hair health

Woman doing skincare smiles
Cold water's ability to constrict blood vessels can lead to reduced puffiness, contributing to healthier-looking skin. Furthermore, exposure to cold water may impart benefits to hair health and shine, adding an aesthetic dimension to the overall well-being promoted by this tradition.

Increased endurance

Exploring the realms of physical fitness, regular engagement in cold water therapy is suggested to improve endurance. This enhancement is attributed to the positive impact on cardiovascular strength, ultimately increasing the body's tolerance to stress on the cardiovascular system over time.
"Consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable before starting cold water therapy"
While the benefits of cold plunges are compelling, it is crucial to acknowledge that individual responses can vary. Therefore, consulting with a healthcare professional, particularly for those with pre-existing health conditions, is advisable before incorporating cold plunges into one's routine. Additionally, a gradual approach and proper acclimatisation are essential to avoid subjecting the body to extreme cold exposure without due preparation.
As we embark on this journey into the new year, considering the incorporation of cold water dips into our resolutions may provide a refreshing and healthful dimension to our pursuit of wellbeing.
Banner photo: Why cold water therapy is good for your health, from improving sleep to reducing sleep (credit: Lance Reis (Unsplash))
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