There's nothing like a dip in cold water to kickstart your senses and make you feel truly alive!

Have you ever tried cold water immersion (even if only because the hot water has run out)?

Or maybe like me, you are a cold water activities fan? I LOVE to winter surf which is normally about 8 degrees, and often I end up having a cold shower at the beach to wash the salt off. Or in the absence of a plumed-in shower, I can even be spotted in my bikini, in a large bucket, using a garden spray bottle to rinse off with (such a glamour puss I know).

It's fresh, for sure! But I love it. And the amazing feelings and sensations go on waaaaay after you get out. It's something I have now integrated into my daily morning ritual (apart from the week of my period), and I have to say, I feel better for it.

So why should you try it?

1. It Wakes You Up

If you tried everything to beat the morning grog, but still find that you are not fully functioning by your second hit of coffee, I assure you a cold shower will do the trick!

When that cold spray hits your body, it's a bit of a shock.

This shock increases:

  • Oxygen intake
  • Heart rate
  • Alertness

2. Increasing Circulation & Tolerance to the Cold

If like me, you have Raynaud's and terrible circulation it can help reduce your intolerance to cold.

I am not great in the cold, being cold makes me grumpy, which makes no sense because most of my favourite activities involve the cold.

Snowboarding, sea and river swimming, surfing (which is always cold in the UK) and staying in the van for winter surfing (between November and April it can be bitter!).

But I do find the more I am in the cold, the better my tolerance to it. As cold water hits your body and external limbs, it constricts circulation on the surface of your body.

This causes blood in your deeper tissues to circulate at faster rates to maintain ideal body temperature.

3. It supports Peri-Menopause!

During perimenopause both estrogen and progesterone decline, this decline also depletes levels of serotonin and testosterone.

So finding ways to boost serotonin can support your mood and the changes the brain goes through as it recalibrates to adapt to the declining levels of hormones in the body.

Cold water releases endorphins – the feel-good chemicals. This creates a natural high which helps fight against anxiety and low mood. Being in cold water also stimulates the body to release dopamine and serotonin, and this helps us to feel happy.

Combine this with the benefits of regular exercise and you have a powerful and natural way to support mood fluctuations in perimenopause.

It can also help -

  • Boost the immune system
  • Help improve low mood
  • Increase motivation
  • Increase libido

👉 Find out more about charting your cycle HERE 

👉 How to Support Irregular Cycles and Perimenopause

4. Reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) Post-Workout

For me, cold showers were a game-changer for post-workout recovery!!

Studies have shown that cold showers are one of the most effective ways to reduce DOMS, fatigue, muscle damage, and inflammation after physical exercise when compared to active recovery, massage, and compression garments.

If you can't make it out for a dip, then spot running the shower head on areas really does the trick. This is particularly effective on the thighs after skiing, snowboarding or a big legs day at the gym.

Yoga is also a wonderful way to stretch and ease sore muscles. Click here to learn about yoga for your menstrual cycle.

5. Boosting Weight Loss

This wasn't the biggest selling point for me as I'm not actively trying to lose weight (but if it happens, I wouldn't be mad at it 😆)

So some fat cells, such as brown fat, can generate heat by burning fat. They do this when your body is exposed to cold conditions like in a shower. When brown fat burns, it creates heat without shivering. This process is called thermogenesis. During this process, the brown fat also burns calories.

6. Healthier Stronger Hair

As someone with VERY fine hair, this was a big one for me! Scientific research is limited regarding the effect cold water has on your skin and hair but there is some evidence of its positive effects.

According to an article published on the website - Cold water closes and strengthens your hair cuticles. WIN!

Unlike hot water, cold water doesn’t dry out the sebum layer, a naturally lubricated barrier that provides protection for your skin and hair. As a result, your hair may be more likely to become stronger and healthier over time.

⚠️ I wouldn't advise dunking your head in the river though. To make sure the water you are swimming is safe, download The Safer Seas & Rivers app HERE

What have I noticed?

From my time experimenting with cold water therapy this is what I have experienced-

  • Tolerance under duress, it's helping me to control my breathing when in stressful situations.
  • Sustained morning energy and focus (I don't seem to get the mid-morning slump).
  • More chances to hang out with friends and expand my network.
  • Maintains my tolerance to the cold to help my Reynard's.
  • Faster muscle recovery post-exercise (bye-bye DOMS).
  • Instant shift from groggy to awake.

It's definitely been a gradual process, and I would recommend building your tolerance to it slowly. Let your showers get colder bit by bit to give you time to adapt before fully diving in.

👉 FYI - I don't practice cold water immersion during my period - it doesn't feel good for me.

On other days when a full icy plunge doesn't appeal, I go for a warm shower, ending with a cold blast, especially post-hair wash to help smooth the cuticles.

I look forward to my cold showers now, it feels so cool and revitalising, madness I know, but it's pretty addictive and great for an afternoon pick-me-up! So I dare you, give it a try next time 🙂

If navigating perimenopause or difficult periods right now is where you're at, I've got you covered, grab your FREE Cycle Harmony Workshop + Charting tool! Better well-being starts with caring for your inner ecosystem.