Cold water exposure has remarkable benefits for human health. By consciously entering the stress of the cold, and adapting to it, we conquer the sensation of unpleasant coldness and replace it with a sense of euphoria.
Not only does this instill a sense of inner confidence but through physiological reactions we increase our resistance to infections and illness, heighten our state of awareness, can better control stress and anxiety and boost our overall sense of well-being.
Just like running, cold water swimming (or exposure), is an endurance exercise. Similarly, we build up our condition to withstand the cold over a period of time. If you are new to this I recommend a step by step approach, and build from there.
In the video, I’m fortunate enough to be in the sea – but you can enjoy the same benefits from a cold shower (or cold bath) anytime you want at home.
I also find that a cold shower after running really helps my muscles relax, avoiding any tightness the following day. Alternating between hot and cold directly on my leg muscles seems to work like magic, and permits me to run on subsequent days, even after a long run.
Try this at home – see how long you can hold a plank, or how many press-ups you can do. Then take a cold shower for about 2 minutes (longer if you can). Immediately after drying-off, repeat the plank or press-ups – and notice the difference.
If you want to research this fascinating subject further, I recommend starting with Wim Hof.