Cold bathing offers a number of benefits for both our physical and mental health – such as reduced stress and anxiety and better sleep.
It may feel discouraging to immerse one’s body in an icy lake – but regular cold baths provide a number of health benefits.
Among other things, you become more stress-resistant and gain better confidence, studies show.
Sleep is enhanced by cold baths
The immune system is also improved and the body’s fats are affected so that we get more of the so-called brown fat which is the “healthy” fat. Some studies also show that sleep is improved by cold bathing. It gives the body calm and even the stress goes down after a cold bath, just as if you exercised.
If you are also dedicated to wild swimming that is out in nature, then we know that staying in nature in itself has a number of healing functions such as lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and increasing well-being.
Studies have reported that people stopped using their antidepressants and that they started to feel better again when they started bathing.
We should therefore not underestimate the feeling of feeling strong, courageous and getting a huge endorphin boost
Swim once a week
At present, cold baths are not used as a method of treating depression and anxiety, but on the other hand, nature and walking are often recommended for depressed people.
It should be recommended to swim in the sea once a week too. That is enough to swim once a week to get the effects of cold baths.
Stress hormones are pumped out and the body’s own heating system begins to work to keep our internal organs warm. But if we are out for a little while, the stress will soon be reduced again, endorphins are released and we feel how the body gets warm again.
Everyone should try cold bathing unless you have health reasons not to. Throughout the years, we have used hot and cold baths to regulate our feeling and that swimming outdoors is incredibly invigorating and healing.
How to take a cold bath
• Start before it gets too cold. Prepare to have a good place to swim and an easy way to put on clothes afterward so you don’t get cold.
• Decide for the first time just dipping, next time counting to three, next time to five and then maybe ten, then the positive effects will start to feel.
• Accept that there is always a resistance just before but just let those thoughts come and go, and do not stress when bathing, relaxing, and breathe calmly.
• Be present, feel what you are experiencing, just be in it without trying to escape.