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Benefits of Cold Showers And Ice Baths

Benefits of Cold Showers And Ice Baths

Cold water immersion is a practice that has been for ages. Ancient civilizations employed this practice as a response to some health conditions. However, recent studies have triggered a spike in cold water immersion, which is now practiced extensively by professional athletes, trainers, health influencers and even celebrities. These studies discuss at length cold water immersion – the proven benefits and how best to do it.

Both Cold shower and Ice baths are forms of cold water therapy (or cold hydrotherapy) that involve exposing the body to icy water – usually temperature below 50°F/10°C – for a short period. While a cold shower may not produce water as cold as this, an ice bath is the coldest of them all, and it could take the body a while to adapt to it.


Cooling of Overheated Body. Backed by many studies is that the body temperature lowers faster when immersed under water than just resting and exposing it to a relaxed environment.

Faster recovery post-workout. Although still debated, studies have highlighted that immersing the body in cold water after strenuous exercise relieves pain, soreness of the muscle and improves the recovery process. This is why we employ icing as a remedy to an injury. It causes vasoconstriction – the constriction of the blood vessel, thereby reducing swelling and inflammation of the affected area. However, stretching or active recovery strategies go hand-in-hand with cold water therapy to improve muscle recovery.

Eases Depression. Surprising, right? While it is important to note that cold water is not known to cure any mental illness, it is proven that taking a cold shower or ice bath helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is advised to take a cold shower at least twice a day to help alleviate depressive symptoms, especially people already diagnosed with depression.

Stimulates immune system. It is proven from a Dutch study that people that practiced cold water immersion (along with deep breathing and meditation techniques) fight infection better than people that do not. When immersed, anti-inflammatory chemicals are produced more in the body to fight infection. Over consistent time of practice, the body’s antitumor immunity gets elevated.

Improved Mindfulness. A regular ice bath is learned to help people be more mindful and get in tune with their bodies. People have turned to cold water therapy to help them relax better, lower their stress level and recover from the daily bustle.

How do I start my Cold Shower or Ice Bath routine?

There is no superior method or time to practice cold water immersion. Be it a cold shower, ice bath, or other forms of cold water immersion, early in the morning or even just before going to sleep, you will still reap the benefits. Experts’ advice is to find an easy method and time and grow into it. It will be easy to integrate cold water immersion into your daily routine with the right equipment.

The master of cold Wim Hof had said, “We have become alienated from nature, but the cold is capable of bringing us back to what we once had lost.”

Cold showers and Ice baths are shortcuts to achieving whole-body wellness through cold water therapy, and introducing it to your daily routine helps to improve your wellbeing.


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