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Now that the winter months are upon us and the dark nights are drawing in, many of us wish to hibernate in our houses, put the central heating on, and cosy up on the sofa with a cup of tea. However, as unappealing as it may sound, purposely exposing yourself to cold temperatures for a short amount of time can have some health benefits… yes, really! 

What is Cold Therapy? 

Cold exposure therapy, also known as Cryotherapy, is the name for any form of short interval exposure to the cold. Cold therapy is a form of good stress, called ‘eustress’. This type of good stress helps your body to offset and adapt to bad stress, known as ‘distress’. Distress can come in the form of ill health, inadequate sleep, emotional stress, and much more. 
 
There are many ways to experience Cold Exposure Therapy, such as jumping into an icy lake, taking a very cold shower or standing in a cold dry-air chamber, commonly used by sports performers. Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning may not sound like fun, but it can pose many benefits to your physical and mental health, whilst setting you up for a great day ahead. 

What Are The Benefits? 

Cold therapy has been used for thousands of years to treat many ailments. Ongoing research studies are still looking at further potential benefits of this treatment, however, current evidence shows that cold therapy can help with: 
 
• Reducing delayed onset muscle soreness 
• Boosting immune response 
• Acts as a natural anti-inflammatory 
• Improves brain function and mood 
• Improves sleep 
• Improves metabolism 
• Boosts energy 

How Long Should I Expose Myself For? 

How long you expose yourself for is entirely down to the individual. If the thought of an ice-cold shower is too much on a winter’s morning, then start with your normal shower routine, before turning the temperature down by a degree or two for a few minutes. As time goes on, you will be able to adjust the temperature lower and lower until it becomes more comfortable. 
 
Before attempting full submersion into an icy lake or bath, it’s important that you consider a few things. We recommend you consult a health professional regarding any underlying health conditions prior to cryotherapy. If you’re feeling brave and wish to try lake swimming, it’s very important that you stay safe, always go with a partner, and take plenty of warm clothing for afterwards. 
 
 
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