It’s day 9, Challengers!
How have the tasks been going? Do you feel any different? Are you keeping up with them?
Today, prepare to chill… and we don’t mean sit around and do nothing…
Your task today is to:
Shock your body with some
As you’ve seen with yesterday’s task, heat can be used as a therapy to bring about balance to the body, and cold can, too!
Just one episode of a quick shock of cold to the body can have tremendous benefits, and when included into your lifestyle on a more long-term basis, it can have a great impact on health, providing benefit to the immune, circulatory, digestive and lymphatic system as well as improving overall quality of life – even if it doesn’t seem like that in the moment.
So, today, when you’re in the shower, just before you get out, completely turn the hot water off and allow the cold water to splash over you for just a few seconds before getting out. Warning: this will make you feel alive and it will be a shock to your entire system!
You can also make it a more milder experience and work your way up to a full dose of cold water. If you’d rather choose this route, simply turn the hot water down until you feel like you can’t stand the cold. Gradually decrease the hot water over the next couple of days until the hot water tap is turned off.
And remember, all it requires is a few seconds of cold!
It might not seem like it is all that great to do, jumping into an icy pool or fully immersing yourself into an icy bath… but it is incredibly beneficial to your health to shock it sometimes.
It’s a process called hormesis, which is a small amount of stress placed on the body for a short period of time that actually makes the body more resilient to other forms of stressors. Cold water immersion is a way to induce this beneficial hormetic effect.
The effects of cold water immersion also have many other benefits to your health, and they include:
Benefits for lymph circulation – lymph helps the body to move waste around the body.
Improves immune function – through improvements in lymph circulation, cold water can have benefits on the immune system. Research also suggests that those who take cold showers are almost 30% less likely to call in sick from work.
Improves circulation – cold water stimulates blood flow to move to vital organs, bringing them fresh oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood.
Reduces inflammation – tired and sore muscles benefit greatly from cold therapy; just think about all the athletes who sit in ice baths after particularly intense exercise sessions.
Boosts your mood – because of its dopamine-releasing effects, cold water can help to improve mood and help with the feelings of depression.
Helps with weight loss – when cold, the body has to work extra hard to maintain its function, which includes ramping up the metabolism and burning additional calories.
All of these benefits are yours, even if you just spend 10-30 seconds under the cold water tap most days of the week!
If you’ve completed today’s task, be sure to let us know what happened in the comments below!
To your good health,
Team Aches Away
PS) Give us a full account of your cold water immersion experience on the Facebook Group, and see what your fellow Challengers have to say!
PPS) Your next challenge, up tomorrow, is about getting your feet off the ground…
Also check our Health Optimization page for more health hacking tips