In 2021, the United States and Canada have had the hottest temperatures ever recorded. Experts believe that this is not a one-time occurrence. In fact, because of climate change, the weather will be getting hotter.
Hence, we would advise you to cool off during the summer. There is nothing that a cold-water bath cannot beat. In fact, it can also be great for your cardiovascular health and prevent heat strokes!
In this article, you will learn some cold-water bathing tips to beat the heat.
How Cold-Water Bathing Benefits the Body
One of the greatest advantages of bathing with cold water is that you can ensure that you do not suffer from heat strokes. Since the temperatures are extremely high this year and will be higher in the coming years, it is important to be aware of how to take care of yourself. After all, overheating is a genuine concern.
Working out in the heat or doing office work outdoors, or even sitting in an area for too long in this heat without proper air conditioning can make you vulnerable to heat strokes.
Do not take heat strokes lightly. In fact, they can be life-threatening. Usually, heat strokes occur when the temperature of the core body is approximately 40-degree Celsius or more.
Here are some symptoms to be cautious of that indicate that your body is overheating:
- Intense dizziness
- Muscle spasms
- Cramps in the legs, arms, or abdomen
- Swelling in the ankles
If you are suffering from a heat stroke, you should first immerse yourself in a cold-water bath to bring down your temperature.
According to studies produced in 2010, you should not immerse yourself in cold water for more than 9 minutes. It must be kept in mind that there are several risks of hyperthermia. In fact, these risks are more than those that could form from over-cooling someone who is hyperthermic.
Remember, body temperature swings are real. In order to avoid them, you should ensure that the temperature of your bath is more than 10-degree Celsius.
Benefits of Cold-Water Bathing
Individuals have been interested in learning the benefits of cold-water bathing for centuries now. In fact, people first started researching cold-water immersion in the 1970s. Way before that, Plato and Hippocrates wrote long papers on how cold-water baths can largely benefit the human body.
Experts believe that cold-water baths have numerous advantages, including:
- Fewer mood disorders
- Better immunity
- Fewer upper respiratory tract infections
- A higher red blood cell count
- Better endocrine function
- Better overall well-being
- Faster metabolic rate
- Better blood circulation
- Better mood
- Better sleep quality
- Better concentration and focus
- Better immune response
- Better cardiovascular health
- No overheating
Cold-Water Tips to Beat the Heat
Do you want to take a dip in cold water to reap the benefits? Here are some tips:
1. Begin with a Cold Shower
Are you feeling extremely hot or just had an intense workout and want to cool off? However, does the idea of immersing in a freezing cold bath sound overwhelming? In that case, all you need to do is begin with a cold shower.
This will ensure that less of your body is exposed to the cold water as opposed to if you were in a cold bathtub. Moreover, if it gets too much, you can always step out of the cold shower with ease as opposed to lifting each body part up to get out of the bathtub.
2. Switch Between Hot and Cold Temperatures
If you are having a hard time taking a cold-water shower, start by switching between hot and cold temperatures. This will help build your tolerance slowly. Moreover, you will mentally and physically start to be more comfortable with the feel of cold water against your skin.
When you first walk into the shower, let the temperature stay warm. Once you get comfortable, switch it to cold slowly and try to stay put for 30 seconds. Breathe and relax as the cold water washes over you. You can then move the water back to warm and keep alternating.
Continue to do this for three days back-to-back and encourage yourself to tolerate cold water on your skin for 3-minutes. Once you are able to, set more goals for yourself till you can completely immerse yourself in cold water.
3. Start with Your Hands and Feet
The best way to have a cold-water bath is to first begin with your hands and feet. Take some cold water from the tap and fill it up with ice.
Start by slowly putting your hands or feet in the water and see how your body reacts. Your tolerance may surprise you! You may learn that you like to test extremities and that the fear was only inside your head.
This may also be an easier option if you are too lazy to set up a bath or do not have the energy to get rid of all your clothes.
4. Use a Fan and Some Ice Cubes
For some people, cold-water baths are no problem at all. However, the issue is that they are never sufficient. This may be because their homes do not have proper ventilation, so they go back to feeling overheated as soon as they are out of the bath.
If you are going through the same hassle, we have a simple solution for you. All you need to do is gather lots of ice cubes in a tray and put that tray underneath the fan. Then, run your cold-water bath and ensure that the fan is facing you.
As the ice cubes melt in the heat, the fan will throw cold air towards you. You just made your own air conditioning!
If you are not too excited about running a cold-water bath, don’t worry. The key is to start by doing some breathing exercises to calm your nerves.
Before you get in the water, do some moderate-intensity circular breathing. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do not pause when you inhale and exhale.
This exercise will help prepare your mind and body for the cold-water bath experience you are about to have. Good luck!