A cold shower a day, keeps the doctor away...

 .... this is what Wim Hof says anyway in the book I've just purchased... and, just like a cat, I'm always curious!

I'm exactly a week into adding a blast of cold to my shower - 60 seconds to be exact - at the end of every shower, every morning. I'm building up to a full 5-10 minute one. I've also got Gino trying it out, my Haddican & Sass business partner Steve, his wife and a couple of other friends I've been talking to. So far, the feedback is positive.

Water therapy (also called hydrotherapy) has been used for centuries to take advantage of our body’s tendency to adapt to harsher conditions. As a result, our bodies become more resistant to stress. 

Cold showers are not a main source of treatment for any condition, but they may help improve symptom relief and general wellbeing.

With supportive, scientific evidence, cold showers are proven to:

Reduce stress levels: regularly having a cold shower imposes a small amount of stress on your body, which leads to a process called hardening. This means that your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress - you know how much I love the nervous system!

Increase alertness levels: the cold water wakes up your body, inducing a higher state of alertness. It also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body, helping you concentrate - thus keeping you ready and focused throughout the day. This something I've noticed within just one week!

Improve your immune response/help fight off common illnesses: Scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the amount of white blood cells in your body. These blood cells protect your body against diseases. 
Our bodies are designed to become resistant to the elements we are exposed to. For example, leukocytes help fight infection in the body. The shock of cold water in the bloodstream stimulates leukocytes. This means that taking cold showers can help your resistance to common illnesses, like colds and the flu.

Increase willpower: just after my first one I was so blummin' proud of myself! It takes a strong mind to endure the cold for extended periods of time. By incorporating cold showers into your daily routine, you are strengthening your willpower which benefits many aspects of daily life.

Improve circulation: It can feel uncomfortable to immerse our bodies in cold water, but it can also be invigorating. That’s because water that’s colder than our natural body temperature causes the body to work slightly harder to maintain its core temperature. When taken regularly, cold showers can make our circulatory system more efficient. Some people also report that their skin looks better as a result of cold showers - probably because of better circulation.

Aid weight loss: Research has shown that cold showers (and exposure to cold in general), in addition to increasing metabolic rate directly, stimulate the generation of brown fat. Brown fat is a specific type of fat tissue that in turn generates energy by burning calories. Cold showers, then, are an effective tool for people who are looking to lose a few pounds - but don't expect miracles with this one! We all know that healthy weight loss comes down to what you eat and the amount of activity you partake in!

Give it a go...

The ideal way to take a cold shower is to ease in to the habit. 

Start by slowly lowering the temperature at the end of a usual shower. Get the water cold enough that you start to feel uncomfortable. Then, stay underneath the water for 30 seconds, then a minute, then 2 or 3 minutes. Breathing deeply will help decrease your discomfort in your mind. 

The next time you try this exercise, make the water slightly colder. Try to last for another minute or two in the colder water. After performing this activity 5 to 10 times, you’ll find that you might even look forward to turning the hot water down... or it that just me?!? ;)


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