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Cold Water Therapy

Updated: Mar 25

Cold Water Therapy involves deliberate immersion of the body into cold water, and this can be done through cold showers, a dip at the beach during winter, or having an ice bath 🥶. Now why would someone want to go through that sort of discomfort? I asked myself the exact same thing when I was first introduced to this a few years back, but the benefits are definitely worth that discomfort. I had dabbled a little bit with cold water therapy before by ocean swimming, and after sports recovery for the legs, but doing this as part of a daily routine is on another level of discipline. Here are some of the benefits that I felt after taking just a 1min cold shower first thing in the morning upon waking:

  • Increased Energy

  • Increased Alertness

  • Decreased Fogginess

  • Feeling of Accomplishment

  • Increased Willpower

Now I know the last thing you want to do first thing in the morning is jump in cold water. A warm steamy shower and a cup of hot coffee sounds a lot more appealing and enjoyable. But does growth happen when we are in our comfort zone? I think you know the answer. Getting into that cold water in the morning you mentally have to psyche yourself up before it hits your skin, it does take some willpower and discipline. As you hit the water you instantly feel a rush of adrenaline go through your body, and your breath gets shorter as your body tries to deal with the cold water. The aim is to focus on your breath with controlled inhales and exhales, preventing yourself from hyperventialting. Once you get a hold of your breathing pattern during the cold, you're well on your way to beating that inner voice inside your head telling you to step out after 5 seconds. It will take some practice, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes....sort of! Enter our first Breathe and Freeze event, which was held by wellness coach guru Dave Obrien. My first actual Ice bath and breathing event was with Dave back in 2020, and I got so much out of the class and wanted the Bootcamp boys to experience the same invigoration as I did. This was a great opportunity for the boys to step out of their comfort zone, and test their mental resilience while having the support of their mates by their side in the cold. Ice baths are a hard sell, so I was super wrapped to get at least 30 of the boys immersing themselves into a challenging new experience. There were definitely some shivering bodies afterwards but the warmth was quickly back in the bodies through the camaraderie and support that everyone was giving each other.

You can see through the facial expressions below the concentration and determination it takes to keep yourself in a challenging situation like an ice bath, but full credit to the boys we had everyone participate, conquering any self doubt they previously had.

A big thanks goes to Dave for his wisdom and knowledge that he shared with the group prior to the ice bath. Dave put the guys through 45 minutes of Wim Hof breathing, which is a method to increase adrenaline throughout the body preparing you for stressful conditions. The breathing technique is intense and empowering, it challenged the guys with their emotions and brings a connection to one another before entering into the cold water.

If you're interested in Cold Water Therapy I highly recommend you follow the one and only Wim Hof, he has some great resources including an App where you can challenge yourself to cold water therapy, as it guides you to suitable methods to build up your tolerance to the cold. Some preach cold water therapy as a daily tool to help them build mental resilience, others like to use it sparingly throughout their routines when they feel it's needed. Find what works for you, and give yourself the opportunity to master your own mind and body. You will find that the resilience and discipline you build up by conquering cold water will spill over into other areas of your life including nutrition, work, family, training, and mental health. So if you are wanting to up your discipline and willpower in all areas of life, give cold water immersion a go.

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