From the Wim Hof Method to mindful snow walking, here's how cold conditions can bring a host of health benefits.
26 December 2019| Last updated on 8 January 2020
All Credits: PA
We may moan about cold weather, but there’s a growing community of chill-seekers who swear by the health and wellbeing benefits of icy temperatures.
Using extreme cold or freezing conditions for health purposes is generally referred to as cryotherapy. But away from clinical settings, the cold features in a host of wellness practices – from cold water immersion to meditating in the snow and ice swimming.
Remember, some of these practices are quite extreme and should only be attempted by trained and experienced athletes with the appropriate safety measures in place. Safety always comes first – even if you’re just taking a quick dip in the local bay or heading to the hills for a walk – so always be sensible.
However, there’s a lot we can all take from these methods and exercises too. That might be putting a new spin on your winter walks with friends or family this season. Or just braving a few seconds under a cold shower in the morning, to super-charge your start to the day. If you are tempted to get more involved with something like cold water immersion or winter open-water swimming, it’s a good idea to do a guided course or join an established group who can help you acclimatise safely.
Here are 5 ways icy cold temperatures can boost body and mind…