I have been studying successful people’s morning routines lately and trying them out. Why? Because your morning is so important — it sets the tone of the entire day…so if you can control your morning to be amazing, most likely, your entire day will also be amazing. At least that’s the goal. Ever since I can remember, my mornings have been chaotic. Whether it’s waking up later than I intended, or having to race somewhere, or feeling like I need to check my emails, it is NOT a good way to start the day.
I am still guilty of checking my phone first thing in the morning, and I know that is so not recommended because checking your emails and texts causes a reaction…sometimes negative, which is just the worst way to start the day.
I am still perfecting my morning routine, so I’m not going to share all that I am doing quite yet, however there is one thing that I have been doing consistently for months that HAS made a difference in the way that I feel.
Yep, getting physically cold with an ice cold shower and/or using an ice roller.
“When practiced on a regular basis, cold water immersion can even provide long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that enhance the overall quality of your life.” – Tony Robbins
The benefits of cold water:
Improves Lymphatic System:
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that run throughout the body, helping take away waste, bacteria and microbes from your cells, essentially cleansing your body. Unlike your blood, which is constantly pumped through your body by the heart, your lymph fluid doesn’t have a central pump. Instead, your lymphatic system relies on muscle contraction to pump the lymph fluid through the vessels. So if you don’t exercise or your lymphatic system itself becomes slow or inefficient, the fluid stagnates and toxins build up, manifesting in colds, joint pain, infection and, in more serious instances, disease.
Cold water immersion causes your lymph vessels to contract, forcing your lymphatic system to pump lymph fluids throughout your body, flushing the waste out of the area. This then triggers the immune system’s white blood cells to attack and destroy any unwanted substance in the fluid. In a way, it’s sort of a domino effect – the cold water affects the lymphatic system, which in turn affects the immune system, which ultimately keeps you feeling happy and healthy.
Cardiovascular circulation is rarely something that crosses our minds, but it happens to be one of the most critical components to our overall health and well-being. With poor cardiovascular circulation, not only is the blood flow compromised, the heart becomes stressed. And this can ultimately lead to health problems like fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, muscle cramping or even heart attack and stroke. With improved circulation, on the other hand, we can improve heart health, enhance mental performance, boost the immune system and the body’s metabolism, and simply give ourselves more strength and energy to live our lives the way we want.
A 2007 research study found that cold showers can help treat depression symptoms, and if used on a routine basis, may be more beneficial than prescription medications in lifting moods. The reason for this, in scientific terms, is due to the stimulation of the dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathway. Or, in layman’s speak, cold water triggers a flood of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, which make you feel happy. A separate study that analyzed the effects of regular winter swimming on the mood of swimmers showed that after four months of routine cold water swimming, the subjects felt more energetic, active and spritely than the control group.
Taking your first several cold showers is fucking miserable, while you’re ‘in’ it. However, it does become easier. If you try this out, make sure you do it in short bursts, and then get warm again. I will stand under freezing cold water for 10-30 seconds, and then turn it to HOT again.
If you’re apprehensive about the cold shower, try splashing cold water on your face in the morning or use an ice roller. I love my ice roller first thing in the morning because it reduces puffiness. This one from Amazon is amazing!