Research is revealing the numerous
health benefits of taking ice baths:
- Alleviates Depression and Anxiety: The release of norepinephrine in the brain is shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Lowers Stress: Cold therapy is a form of eustress (good stress),countering the effect of negative stressors, like inadequate sleep, emotional stress, rumination and poor gut health.
- Stimulates Weight-Loss: Cold exposure has been associated with lowering body fat percentage and stimulation the growth of brown fat (the “good” fat that burns energy and helps keep us warm).
- Heals the Body: Hormesis is the process of exposing the body to short burst of stress, the body responds by activating a variety of stress response pathways, expressing genes that are already encoded and hardwired in the body.
- Improves Mood and Brain Function: Electrical impulses are sent to the brain via the peripheral nervous system which causes a boost in mood and brain function.
- Strengthens Immune System: Cold exposure can increase your levels of immune system cells that fight diseases and infection.
Cold bathing is a positive natural stressor on the body. Good short burst of stress, like cold therapy, ignites hormesis in the body, which creates a favorable biological response. Some highlights of cold bathing include:
- Research shows cold exposure can help with neurodegenerative diseases.
- Cold bathing can create a robust positive response in the body. It is unique in that it can promote production of Norepinephrine, which is a versatile hormone and neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine can reduce inflammation, symptoms of arthritis, improve mood, decrease symptoms of depression, and decrease chronic pain.
- Regular cold bathing can increase the body’s brown fat, and more brown fat is associated with a lower body fat percentage. On the other hand, less brown fat has been found to have a strong correlation to aging and obesity.
- Cold bathing can increase mitochondrial biogenesis, ”Mitochondria are what give us the ability to use oxygen in order to produce cellular energy, and if we have more of them, it can be said we may be more adapted to aerobic activity.” (Patrick, 2015)
References Patrick, R., Dr. (2015). Report on Cryotherapy & Cold-Water Immersion. Retrieved from https://www.foundmyfitness.com/?sendme=cold-stress