Before you stop reading, you should know that cold plunges may be incredibly beneficial to your mental and physical health. Plus, they actually feel amazing once you get out. If you’ve seen videos of people taking the “polar plunge”, you may have wondered if there’s more to it than masochism. Turns out, there is.
“Cold water therapy” works with nearly every system in your body to energize, purify and uplift. Healthline reports that some studies have shown that cold water exposure increased participants’ immunity when exposed to a bacterial infection when combined with other mindfulness tools such as meditation and deep breathing. The researchers noted that the cold showers may have helped fortify the body against stress after an extended period of time. But, with other benefits such as increased circulation and energy, there’s more to it than suffering through a freezing few minutes.
Indeed, the outlet notes, this type of therapy may help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression when used over time. Healthline cites two small studies that found participants feeling less prone to depressive moods after taking two cold plunges on a daily basis. One of the cold plunge’s biggest fans is none other than self-help guru, Tony Robbins.
Tony Robbins swears by the cold plunge
One of the world’s most well-known self-help speakers, Tony Robbins also partakes in the cold plunge and he combines it with a sauna session. According to Insider, the change in your physical and emotional state that takes place during his process has to do with hormones — and Robbins is a big fan. By first sitting in a hot sauna for a few minutes, he reaps the benefits of heat shock proteins, human growth hormone and others that have a variety of health benefits. Plus, it may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety while increasing one’s ability to focus.
From here, the cold water takes it a step further. Speeding up the heart rate and constricting your blood vessels while releasing adrenaline and endorphins, this process can feel amazing. It’s also worth noting that moving from extreme heat to extreme cold can be dangerous for those with heart issues and other medical concerns, so check with your doctor before participating.
Of course, Tony Robbins credits his practice with a few mental health benefits that keep him on his game. The outlet quotes him as saying his hot-cold routine “improves circulation and wakes your a** up,” while noting that the cold plunge “trains the mind to not hesitate but to act.”
If you’re still not sold, try turning your water heat down at the end of your shower. Take a few moments to breathe and feel the cold, then see how you feel. You may notice a clearer mind, an awakened body and a general feeling of wellbeing.
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