I don’t know about you, but it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of immersing myself in cold water would have sent me running for the hills.
I mean…what person in their right mind would ever put their mostly-naked body into a near-freezing shower or bath just to feel better after working out? It would be way easier to just put a cold compress on sore muscles, right?
Or if I wanted to speed up my weight-loss results, I could just eat more salads, drink more water, and do harder exercises, right?? No need to sit in ice, cold water.
I mean…I was willing to go through some level of discomfort to get the body of my dreams…
…but there was only so far I was going to go.
And there was only so much that I was going to recommend to the people who followed my advice.
That is…until I tried cold water therapy, myself.
Now, I know that the video below is over 4 years old, but it just goes to show how long I have been doing this and how much I still believe in it.
In advance, I’ll ask you not to laugh…because cold water therapy is no laughing matter. Enjoy! 😉
Some People Aren’t Sold On Cold Water Therapy, At All, But Here’s Why They Are Wrong…
Back in 2014, the National Institutes of Health took time to do a study on various types of water therapy. It’s one of the oldest homeopathic treatments in history, and it’s something that’s not really that difficult for the average person to try at home.
As you could see from my video above, a shower or a bathtub will work just fine.
Anyway, what the NIH found was that both hot and cold water have benefits for various health issues. In this article, I am only going to discuss cold therapy because there’s been so much debate on whether or not it does anything useful.
Hopefully, what I share will help you consider trying cold water therapy for yourself.
Here Are The Benefits Of Cold Water Therapy On Your Health And Fitness
Benefit #1: Have A High Fever? Take A (Very) Cold Bath
Mothers around the world can tell you how they’ve had sick babies with high temperatures and have had to put them in cold water to help break the fever. In hospitals, today, doctors still use the practice when patients have fevers that are dangerously high.
Trust me. This is one of the fastest ways to bring down your core body temperature when it’s too high.
Benefit #2: Improved Circulation
There’s a medical term called vasodilation, and it simply means enlargement of blood vessels. When you submerge a body part in cold water, the surface blood vessels contract…
…but the blood vessels that are deeper below the surface of the skin tend to expand, allowing more blood to pass through that specific body part. You don’t want to stay exposed to cold for too long, but temporary exposure is not harmful and can help all sorts of circulation challenges…varicose veins being a big one.
Benefit #3: Lowered Blood Pressure (Read Carefully!)
That same vasodilation I just mentioned causes blood pressure to temporarily lower in that body part because there’s more room for the blood to flow when vessels are dilated (or expanded).
Those blood vessels are expanding in an effort to keep the body part warm, but the side benefit is improved circulation and a lower blood pressure, temporarily.
Benefit #4: Improved Productivity
In the previous three benefits, I’ve shared how you can use cold water therapy on specific body parts…but, now I’m going to tell you how you can use it on your whole body.
If you want to “shock” yourself into inspired, clear thinking, all you have to do is jump into a cold lake, step into a cold shower when you first wake up in the morning, or sit down in a tub of water like I did, and pour ice into your bath.
The cold will make your heart beat faster, raise your blood pressure a bit, and clear your mind as you start your day so that you’re a lot more productive. (Note: If you have any heart problems, be sure to get your doctor’s advice, first.)
Benefit #5: More Energy
You can use cold water therapy to temporarily and TOTALLY get rid of any fatigue your experiencing. If you’ve got something to do and absolutely HAVE to push through, taking a cold shower or bath will be just what you need to give yourself that extra jolt of energy.
And it works for hours afterwards and not just for minutes; the cold basically shocks your central nervous system and “resets” it.
Benefit #6: Help With Mental Illness
Cold water therapy has been proven to lessen psychotic episodes because of its ability to shock the central nervous system. It’s not as harmful as electroshock and it doesn’t have the same stigma attached to it, which makes it appealing to many healthcare providers and licensed professionals.
Benefit #7: Improved Metabolism
If you’re trying to get your metabolism back on track, cold water therapy is really helpful in raising your metabolism and helping you process sugars and fats a lot faster than you usually do.
What this means is that you’ll lose weight quicker as long as you’re eating healthily and exercising effectively.
Benefit #8: Stronger Immune System
When you’re exposed repeatedly to cold water, your body will make more NK (natural killer) cells. NK cells are the cells responsible for the baseline immunity that healthy babies are born with.
NK cells kill anything that doesn’t belong in the body from viruses to infections. They are your body’s front line of defense against illness. Having more of them can only make you better at fighting sickness!
Benefit #9: No More Sore Muscles
If you put an ice pack on your sore muscles, you’ll decrease the amount of blood flow in the muscle area and temporarily lessen the amount of inflammation you’re experiencing.
Benefit #10: Lower Likelihood Of Tumors
Earlier, I mentioned that cold water therapy increases the number of NK cells you have. Well, there’s an additional benefit, and it’s that your body is a whole lot less likely to have tumors if your NK cells are doing what they were meant to do.
NK cells eat tumors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
With cold therapy, you’ll have more NK cells and less of a chance that tumors will develop that could cause cancer or other problems with your health.
Using Cold Water On Your Body Can Be A Really Great Addition To Your Health And Fitness Routine…
…depending on how you use it. And I’m glad the National Institutes of Health took time to do a study so we can understand what it’s good for and what it’s not good for.
Remember, if you have any heart issues, be sure to check with your doctor before you use cold therapy. You don’t want to hurt yourself or exacerbate any pre-existing condition you have.
But if you’re in good health and you want to lose weight faster, lessen inflammation in your muscles after a good workout, and improve your immune system, cold water therapy is definitely the way to go!
The Garage Warrior