Our handmade wooden tub from Belgium maintains a water temperature of 3 degrees Celsius. That’s colder than the UK sea in the dead of winter. So…you may ask, why on earth would you willingly take the plunge?
Here are 10 reasons why :
Boosts Your Immune System
When you enter our barrel, the cold water forces your lymph vessels to contract which in turn pumps lymph fluids containing white blood cells through your system. These cells are your defence against foreign bodies which could pose a threat to your health. This results in a ramping up of your immune system.
Helps Improve Circulation
The cold constricts circulation around the surface of your body, sending blood to your core, to protect your vital organs. At Life Works, our cold barrel is part of a circuit within a wet room where you can alternate between cold bath and hot shower. When repeated, this process opens and closes your blood vessels and in doing so, does two things ; it trains elasticity in vessels which would otherwise become brittle over time and flushes oxygenated blood back and forth.
Sense Of Achievement
Don’t undervalue this one. The knock-on affect of forcing discomfort such as cold bathing on yourself is truly positive. Completing challenges leads to completing more challenges.
Boosts Your Mood
You will experience an increased release of norepinephrine, the anti-stress hormone along with epinephrine and adrenaline. These all play a vital part in making you feel good which is why cold bathing is touted widely as a therapy to treat depression. Undertaken regularly, it may even help replace the use of anti-depressants.
Bold statement – most of us are chronically inflamed and we don’t even know it! Cold numbs the nerves that surround your joints and muscles, causing the release of hormones and endorphins. Studies show that the release of hormones and endorphins acts as an analgesic, which relieves inflammation and alleviates muscle strain and joint pain.
Improves Antioxidant Capacity.
According to the British Thrombosis Research Institute, cold exposure undertaken regularly increases your white cell count. Cold prompts your body to adapt to become better equipped to combat oxidative stress.
Relieves Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Cold bathing helps those suffering with arthritis by reducing pain and inflammation. This can lead to better range of motion of joints.
Improves Nervous System and Brain Function.
Nerves in the autonomic nervous system are activated during the cold plunge immersion. The cold also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body – more oxygen to the brain, better cognitive function.
Yep, this one is up there with everyone’s favourite cold therapy benefit. According to Dr Rhonda Patrick, leading expert on the efficacy of sauna and cold plunge, those who were exposed to cold stress had an 80% increase in their metabolism over “warm” levels. Cold exposure increases brown adipose tissue activity, which leads to increased calorie expenditure.
Improves Lung Function
Immersing yourself in 3 degree Celsius water will cause your diaphragm to spasm and breathing to become erratic. To overcome this, you need to take long, deliberate and controlled breaths. Done regularly, your lungs will strengthen and capacity will improve.
So, there you go. Now that you have a better understanding of some of the benefits of cold exposure there’s no excuse not to tag a session in Life Works cold plunge after your sauna.