If anyone despises being cold, it’s me. That’s mainly why I left behind those midwest winters long ago in exchange for the sunny Arizona desert and currently, the Southern California coast.
It wasn’t until I came across a podcast episode featuring the legendary Wim Hoff, that I found myself super fascinated by the benefits of cold water therapy. In the interview, I heard him testifying to all things cold temps and what it can do to serve our bodies and minds in incredible ways – including supporting a healthy lymphatic system, reducing inflammation and speeding up cell recovery. The cold can also aid in fighting depression and anxiety, and the list goes on.
After dabbling into some more research on the topic, I started thinking that maybe I could overcome my hesitations regarding my relationship with cold temps after all. So I did what any girl in my shoes would do – I hopped in the shower.
I won’t beat around the bush, cold showers on cold mornings, when getting out of your warm, cozy bed can already be a challenge, aren’t exactly enticing. Something that I found to be helpful and motivating is starting your shower with your temperature of choice and then towards the last couple minutes, turn that dial to as cold as you can handle it – and breathe through the discomfort. 😉
I recommend working up to your desired time when starting your cold showers. As a novice the first week, I started off at a modest 30 seconds and finally worked my way up to one minute – it was the longest minute of my life, if I’m being honest. By week 2 I was hitting that recommended 2-minute mark and my time’s been climbing since. I really started to notice a difference in the effectiveness of the practice once I passed that 2-minute mark. I was energized before I even reached for my coffee (and don’t worry your lips will return to their original color if you just give it an hour or two).
It’s important to note in your practice that you want to always end your showers with cold temps – especially for lymphatic benefit purposes.
Starting with the hot water will produce a rush from the inner organs out to your skin and when you switch to the cold water the process reverses, sending blood back to the inner organs in an attempt to regulate your core temperature. This helps to awaken both your blood and your lymph carrying away impurities from your body. Getting this particular system of our body moving is up to us as it’s not like our vascular system and needs reinforcement to keep it flowing, and cold water exposure is a way to do that along with exercise, dry brushing, etc. It really helped me to learn this information and visualize what was happening in my body while I stood naked, afraid and freezing.
One of my favorite outcomes of incorporating this practice has been that I typically have a lot of back pain from scoliosis that I haven’t noticed nearly as much lately. After reading up on why this would be I’m equating it to the endorphin rush from exposure to the cold that is a natural pain reliever and inflammation fighter.
All and all, incorporating cold water therapy for the last 6 weeks has proven to be really beneficial and I’m excited to keep it up. I find I feel mentally stronger and definitely notice improvements in pain management and energy. I highly recommend giving it a try and sliding into our comments below if you want to share about your experience with cold temps, too. 🙂