By Ryan Tedder | Published
In our pursuit of optimal health and wellness, we often stumble upon the latest trends claiming to help unlock our full potential. One trend that’s gathered momentum over the last couple of years is cold water therapy. Plenty of people swear by its potential to improve physical and mental well-being, from ice-cold baths and showers to invigorating plunges into freezing seas. But what exactly is cold water therapy, and is it really good for you?
Cold water therapy (also known as cold hydrotherapy or cold water immersion) is a restorative activity that involves immersing yourself in cold water – typically lower than 15ºC in temperature – for various health benefits, including invigorating your mind and body.
Whether it's taking cold showers, submerging in ice baths, or swimming in ice-cold lakes, the theory is that it can promote improved circulation, reduce inflammation, enhance athletic recovery, boost mood, and strengthen the immune system. While the scientific evidence is still evolving, many people swear by its effects on their health and well-being.
Cold water therapy is famed for its potential to offer various physical benefits. It’s a popular choice among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone looking for natural ways to improve their physical and mental health. The possible benefits can include:
Cold water therapy can help reduce inflammation in the body, relieving sore muscles, joint pain, and other inflammatory conditions, especially after exercise.
Exposure to cold water can cause blood vessels to constrict and then dilate, leading to improved blood circulation and potentially benefiting cardiovascular health.
Cold water immersion is believed to aid muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, promoting faster recovery after intense physical activity.
Cold water immersion could improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety levels, providing a sense of relaxation and well-being. There’s the possibility it can also reduce symptoms of depression.
Some studies suggest that going from a nice warm shower to an ice-cold shower could stimulate the production of blood cells, potentially bolstering the immune system and improving its ability to fight off infections.
It's important to remember that while these benefits are commonly known, your response to cold water therapy may vary. As with any new health or wellness practice, you should approach cold water therapy carefully and get medical advice if you have any health concerns.
Embracing cold water therapy might seem off-putting at first, especially if you’re not a cold water fan. So before you dive headfirst into this new phase, it's essential to begin cold water therapy gradually. Starting slowly and building your tolerance over time can help you reap the rewards without feeling overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to get you started:
A cold shower can help you understand how your body reacts to cold water. Over time, gradually reduce the water temperature and increase the amount of time you can handle it.
Once you’ve built up your tolerance to cold water, take a cold water plunge bath for 3-4 minutes. This plunge can increase metabolism, burn fat, and improve circulation for enhanced well-being.
Take cold water therapy to the next level by going wild swimming in the river, lake, or sea. Find an organised group and start in the summer before it gets too cold.
Of course, our version of cold water therapy is what we do best here at Thirsty Work – and that means you enjoying it with one of our bottled water coolers or mains-fed water coolers. So to build on the benefits of your cold water therapy, get in touch to see how our water coolers can deliver chilled, ambient, or sparkling drinking water to keep you healthy and hydrated all day.