After a long and stressful week, sometimes, the only thing I can’t wait for is to relax by taking a warm bath while reading a book or listen to a podcast.
I usually make sure the water is warm to hot in temperature, pour in some bubbles, and light a candle.
Have you ever taken a cold bath by choice?
The chances are that you haven’t. But, the rare occasion of someone using up all the hot water in your house or wanting to get cleaned up after exercising may have resulted in you using cold water.
Just a few weeks ago, I found myself wanting to take a cold bath after working out. I don’t usually do that, but later I found out that it can be good for you.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy is a fancy word that means “cold therapy.” It happens when you expose part or all of your body to cold temperatures for a period of several minutes. The methods you can use are:
- Ice packs
- Ice massage
- Coolant sprays
- Ice baths
Many people, like athletes, use cryotherapy regularly for the health benefits. Others will take part in it for a short time. It’s more effective the longer you use it.
Cryotherapy is even used to prevent and treat cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and atopic dermatitis.
Just keep in mind that there are risks and contraindications to everything these days, and you should consult your healthcare provider.
People with diabetes, other nerve conditions, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, poor circulation, and neuropathy should avoid cryotherapy altogether.
Additionally, don’t try an ice pack or a cold bath for longer than 20 minutes. You also shouldn’t perform whole body cryotherapy for longer than four minutes.
Common side effects are usually temporary and include numbness, tingling, redness, and skin irritation.
4 benefits I experienced from a cold bath
To say that I was surprised by the positive outcome I had only by taking a cold bath would be an understatement.
Here are the shocking side effects that taking a cold bath had on my physical and mental health.
1. My headache disappeared
Sometimes when I work out in the heat, I will get a headache. A cold washcloth can help alleviate the pain, but I had never tried a cold bath before.
I was surprised that the cooling nature of the tub made my headache disappear.
I later found out that studies show when you cool the blood that passes through intracranial vessels, like through carotid arteries, you can reduce migraines and headaches.
2. My sores muscles quieted
After a workout, I usually find my muscles sore and stiff. I usually will stretch and do yoga to help my body heal.
However, the cold bath took away the irritation, and I felt better more quickly than usual.
3. My mood improved
Studies show that cryotherapy can cause a significant physiological response in the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins. These hormones help to regulate anxiety and depression.
After a long and stressful week of work, I usually feel drained and worried if I did not get everything done that I anticipated.
However, after the cold bath, I had an incredible sense of calmness wash over me that helped me let go of work and enjoy the weekend. I was awake and refreshed.
4. My skin cleared up
Cryotherapy improves antioxidant levels and decreases inflammation in the body, especially the skin. After my cold bath experience, I noticed that my skin seemed softer and less dry or itchy.
So, the next time you go to take a bath, consider trying a cold bath instead of a warm one.
It may seem uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth giving it a try for the surprising health benefits.