One of the Rituals many of our Ritualize members have on their Ritual board, is to take a cold shower a few times a week. If this brings feelings of dread into your stomach, Dont stop here …. keep reading! You may be surprised at how beneficial taking a cold shower is. We’re talking immune boosters, mood enhancing and weight loss to name just a few.
Before we talk about the cold shower Ritual, let’s briefly delve into the science of cold emersion. Cold emersion (or what can be called cryotherapy) has shown to release noradrenaline in the brain. This is a neurotransmitter that is linked to your bodies resistance to stress, reduced inflammation and improved mood. It can even improve your brain’s ability to create new brain cells. It has also shown be effective for short-term pain reduction and has shown to help the symptoms of chronic arthritis.
And if this wasn’t enough to turn the shower handle to cold for your next shower, it has shown to increase ‘brown fat’ (a type of adipose tissue). This brown fat is different to white fat in that it produces heat by burning calories. In other words brown fat is a calorie hungry, internal heater. One study showed that 250 extra calories were burned through brown fat after a 3-hour period of cold exposure.
Feeling down? Take a cold shower
One of the most immediate benefits after a cold shower is feeling energised and happy. This is caused by norepinephrine to be released in the brain, which is great for mood. Studies are currently being carried out on cold emersion and clinical depression, so watch this space. In the meantime, people taking cold showers, even just once a week, tell us how great they feel afterwards.
Try doing 20-30 seconds at the end of your shower. Rather than it being a sudden hit of cold, try box breathing before and during the cold shower. It really helps and after a few time you’ll start incorporating a cold shower into your routhine. The benefits feel too good to stop!
Interested in reading more about Cold Water emersion? Read our blog on a first hand experience.