August 17, 2022
Being cold as a Southern California native has a whole different meaning in comparison to many people around the world. Our “cold” winter nights in the 50’s can send shivers down my spine (I know, I know. Sorry to anyone who deals with actual Winters!). The idea of submerging myself in cold water sounds terrible. However, I am the type of health junky that will try mostly anything if it benefits my body, mind, and inner essence.
So what are those benefits? According to the science and research for the Wim Hof Method, cold therapy can reduce inflammation, strengthen your immune system, balance your hormones, improve sleep, produce endorphins, and aid in fat loss. When you add mindful breathing to the cold therapy, you produce more energy, lower stress, and build a resilient immune response. Essentially, your body learns how to handle stress so that it doesn’t get sick from it. The combination of cold therapy and breathing exercises keeps our body strong and quick to bounce back from challenges it will face.
For years now, I’ve only had the will to take cold showers during the summer. But after doing a group cold plunge recently, I’ve been re-inspired to bring this practice back into my life and stick to it for the rest of the year, even as the mornings and nights get colder. Starting small with cold showers or ending your shower with a minute of cold water is probably the easiest and most cost effective way to dive into this practice. And if you begin to crave more intensity, perhaps you jump into an ocean or lake; or visit a cryotherapy facility where you can further commit to a cold therapy practice.
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