In our modern day, rarely does anyone consider being cold a good experience. People subconsciously shudder at the idea of being cold in some way and avoid that unpleasant experience. But they do not understand that being cold from time to time can have highly positive and beneficial effects on the body and overall health.
On the other hand, there are other people who really spend some time submerging themselves in cold water, especially during the winter; others do winter swimming, and yet another group of people (due to lack of natural resources) can only take a cold shower on a daily basis. The average person may wonder why someone would want to experience something so unpleasant, but after reading this article you can change your mind if you have never faced the idea of cooling down regularly. At the end of the article you will know if the cold water is good or bad for you.
Benefits of swimming in cold water.
Before talking about whether cold water is good or bad for you, it is better to spend a little time explaining what really happens to your body when you are immersed in any type of cold condition, especially water.
- Immune response
- Brown fat production
- Fastest metabolism
- Reverse diabetes
The basis of cold conditions and cold water is that it immediately stresses the body. You may wonder how it could be good for you, but this is what really happens. Our bodies evolve and adapt better if unfavorable conditions occur on a regular basis. Of course, the body needs time to recover from the stress experienced, but this gives it, in evolutionary terms, a way to better adapt to changes. The body also adapts to stress.
In addition to that, your immune system also responds to cold water and reactivates it. You can imagine how you turn on the switch in your immune system, making sure you do not catch cold every time autumn approaches or when someone in your environment has the flu. As the immune system becomes more active, the result is that it will run at full speed.
Another great benefit of taking cold showers or swimming in cold water is that your body begins to produce its own brown fat. This is a relatively new discovery in the scientific world. Until now we believed that we only have fat in our bodies, but the truth is that we have white fat and brown fat. White fat is all the fat cells that we have in our entire body (and that is the reason why so many people fight against obesity).
On the other hand, brown fat is really good, as it helps burn white fat more effectively. Brown fat is often found on the back of a person, near the neck and below it. Tests show that people who endure a month or two of intensive immersion in cold water have significantly increased their production of brown fat, which accelerates the process of burning white fat. The result is that they generally become thinner and healthier, and better withstand cold conditions.
You may wonder how brown or white fat can be beneficial in some way. The reason is that white fat is simply a fatty substance, which is difficult to metabolize for the body. As for brown fat, it contains many mitochondria cells, which produce ATP. This chemical helps the release and transmission of energy stored in white fat cells.
ATP uses oil reserves and quickly converts them into energy. If a body lacks brown fat, the white fat cells will hardly be used at all and the reserves of oil will remain there until the person performs heavy workouts and, as a result, sweats a lot. You can increase the effect of exercise, if you regularly swim in cold water or take cold showers.
Another great effect is that brown fat uses tryglicerides and stored sugars, which could have a positive effect in people with type 2 diabetes (or are in a pre-diabetic state). It is even possible to reverse the effects of diabetes in the first place.
Also, when you swim in cold water or take a cold shower, your body activates a gene cryptically called UCP1. It is also activated during training and exercise. This gene also helps in the effective production of brown fat, since it uses white fat reserves. Once again, you can see how cold water and exercise can have a mutually beneficial symbiosis.
The effects of cold water on the body.
Let’s take a closer look at each process that occurs in the body by immersing it in cold water.
- Activation of the immune system
- Improves blood circulation.
- Production of natural antioxidants.
- Fight the depression
- Reduces pain
- Combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Fight obesity
First, as we mentioned earlier, your immune response increases significantly. The body produces more natural defensive cells and therefore protects long-term a wide range of diseases and common flu. Many people who defend cold water as a claim to boost the natural immune system rarely suffer from any disease at all, much less to control the usual cold.
Then, your blood circulation improves dramatically. This is especially important for people who suffer from slow blood flow, who often feel cold in the hands and feet and rarely exercise. People who avoid workouts tend to have a slower metabolism and slower blood circulation. Thus, some organs and the periphery do not get enough blood and oxygen. These people often report that they are constantly cold. If you are one of these people and are afraid to do some exercise, you should try cold water treatment.
A good addition to the above benefits is that the body begins to produce natural antioxidants in the bloodstream. This is a way of decreasing aging and once again improves the general health condition.
Cold water can also effectively fight depression and fatigue. It has been reported that people who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, after trying the cold shower / swim treatment, report having more energy and feeling more vital. In addition to that, cold water helps the production of beta-endorphins in the bloodstream.
As we all know, endorphins are the chemicals responsible for the good mood that some people report after eating chocolate or exercising.
And as we already mentioned, cold water can fight against obesity by producing more brown fat and making burning white fat much faster and more efficiently.
Experimenting with cold water.
If you want to get the benefits we mentioned above, you should start to try these things yourself. It can be a bit stressful at first, but when you acclimate your body to the changes, you will begin to experience true joy and benefits.
Many people report on their first experience and share how invigorated and lively they feel. Many even say that the general daily stress they had experienced is no longer affecting them so strongly and does not have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. Some share how they start to prefer cold showers instead of hot showers, even swimming regularly in cold water.
The explanation is that when the body is under stress for a minute or two under cold water, you may feel overwhelmed, but over time you get used to that surge of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline). As a result, you will feel less affected by other stressors throughout the day. You will be less irritable, annoyed or angry compared to before.
The first advice for people who have never tried a cold shower or swimming in cold water is to try it gradually. If you try it with a cold shower, the first time you experiment, do it for no more than a minute. Get off under the shower and you can run the cold water immediately, or you can acclimatize gradually to your body, as you will gradually have more cold and cold water. Different approaches work for different people. Whenever you spend a minute in the coolest possible water under the shower, that would be best.
As you get used to the cold, you can try to spend more than a minute. Spend two minutes. You will begin to enjoy this and it will not be as shocking as at the beginning.
If you fear and postpone the action, you can make a public vote (in a close circle of friends and family) that you will test cold water or swimming for one or two weeks. You have to make a mental decision that you will do this every day, first thing in the morning.
For some people taking a cold shower before they even brush their teeth works better. You can find a method that suits you best. You can try taking a cold shower before going to bed. It will soothe your senses and, in fact, help you sleep better, as you will be more relaxed after getting out of the shower.
After setting up this routine and it is not something new for you, you can go even further. During the winter you can start walking in the snow barefoot. You can also try swimming in a lake. Break the ice and get in the water. Some people train to try to start a fire while they are submerged in a frozen lake.
They are so well acclimatized and trained that they do not even suffer hypothermia within the usual time limit (which is often common for untrained common people). It has been proven and proven that people who swim in cold water regularly shudder less and their heart rate slows down during extremely cold weather, thus preserving body heat for the proper functioning of vital organs. It almost sounds like an evolution in modern times, when we are too used to the comfortable life we have.
If you still have difficulty getting used to cold showers, you can try to train yourself mentally before you start. Get into the routine of doing something under the shower. You can scream, scream, scream, dance, cry, get angry, whatever, as long as you get through a minute. You will realize that this really releases energy, which actually awakens the body and the psyche.
It will begin by associating the cold shower with something that releases negative energy (screaming, screaming, crying) or positive energy (creativity, singing, dancing, etc.). Either of these unlocks a part of your mentality and consciousness that you have probably neglected. You will start to love cold showers, because you will also do something else that you will love. As a result, cold water showers can become your favorite activity and you can do it even twice a day, whenever you enjoy it.
Another thing that you will begin to notice is that when you leave the cold shower or the water, in fact you will not feel cold. You have probably noticed that when you get out of a hot shower (even hot) you feel cold. This is because the body has accumulated heat from the outside, but the internal mechanism and # 8216; heating ‘is inactive. While when you have a cold shower, your body increases the internal heat and when you get out of the shower / cold water, that mechanism will be at full speed.
As a result, you will even feel warm and fresh. People also report that they no longer feel that cold, whatever the weather and they are much more used to the cold in general.
Our last advice is to experiment and see what works for you. But the key to the above is that you need to spend at least a minute in cold water: the coldest thing your shower can produce or spend time in cold water outside (lakes, rivers, sea).
Do this every day for at least 8 days to 2 weeks. Always observe how you feel immediately after immersion in cold water and throughout the day. You can write a diary and keep track of your symptoms and if any of the conditions you have really improves.
Also, consult your general practitioner about your ideas. If you have a heart problem, you should stay away from extreme cold. But if your GP gives you the green light, go ahead and try the tips above. We can promise you that you will feel the change.