Did you know that as few as 11 minutes per week of cold water exposure has scientifically proven health benefits.
That's barely more than a minute a day on average. Could this be one of the best 'bang for your buck' habits to adopt this year?
Here are five reasons to give it a try:
Exposing your body to regular stresses is actually good for your autonomic nervous system.
The first half of this what's known as the sympathetic nervous system, but is more commonly referred to your "fight or flight" response. This is complemented by the parasympathetic nervous system which kicks in after a bout of cold exposure.
Daily or near-daily cold plunging habits is also a major sleep aid.
Building a regular routine that progressively stresses the body will also increase your metabolism and aid in relaxation through to day. These things can assist with better sleep latency and a more efficient sleep overall.
Cold plunging triggers the production of norepinephrine.
That's a chemical in the body that helps to naturally regulate energy, focus and attention. Doing this daily can increase the level of this in your body.
Norepinephrine also impacts mood.
Studies are now beginning to show that extremely low levels of norepinephrine tends to be common in cases of depression.
The act of cold exposure has benefits for physical recovery, too.
Extended bouts of cold exposure causes the circulatory system to constrict in its extremities — drawing blood in to your core to protect your vital organs. This helps to also flush the body of acids, necrotic debris as well as reduce minor inflammation.
Conclusion: just give it a go...
Even just turning the last 90 seconds of your morning shower as cold as it goes is a good enough place to start. Try it for a few weeks... who knows, you might be investing in a cold plunge pool in no time.