Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy or cold exposure, is a form of treatment that involves exposing the body to cold temperatures for therapeutic purposes.
This can be done in several ways, including ice baths, ice packs, sea swimming, cryotherapy chambers or taking cold showers.
Let's take a look at some of the main benefits associated with cold therapy ..
Cold exposure can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with a range of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Boosting the immune system
Exposure to cold temperatures has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells, which are important for fighting off infections and diseases.
Cold exposure can cause blood vessels to constrict, which may help improve circulation and reduce blood pressure.
Increasing energy and alertness
Exposure to cold temperatures can stimulate the production of hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline, which can increase energy and alertness.
Increased activity of brown fat
Cold therapy can potentially help increase the activity of brown fat, which is a type of fat that burns calories and generates heat. Studies have suggested that exposure to cold temperatures can activate brown fat, leading to an increase in energy expenditure and potentially promoting weight loss
Cold exposure has been shown to increase the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that can help improve mood and reduce feelings of pain.
Relieving muscle soreness
Cold exposure can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise.
May support/speed up recovery
There is some preliminary evidence that ice plus exercise is effective at increasing healing speed after an ankle sprain or surgery. Cold exposure has a positive effect on muscular enzymes linked to muscle damage (e.g. creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase)
Fancy a dip in the sea this weekend?