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Cold Showers Can Improve Your Health

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A cold shower is undeniably uncomfortable and deviates from the traditional way of showering. But did you know that it could be one of the healthiest changes that you make in your life?

In a recent study conducted by Geert A. Buijze and a number of his colleagues, 3000 volunteers in the Netherlands were asked to finish the end of their morning shower with a 30, 60 or 90-second blast of cold water. When this was completed for 30 days, there were overwhelming results when it came to the overall health of participants that were dousing themselves with cold water for the more prolonged period. The participants that had longer exposure to cold water had 29% fewer days where they were sick throughout the study. Therefore, cold showers can lead to fewer sick days and a greater sense of overall health.

In addition, participants that engage in regular physical exercise also experienced a 54% decrease in sick days. Cold showers can make us less sick because it can make us feel more energetic. Just a short dousing of cold water is often all we need to deliver an autonomous response from our body that brings our core temperature up and keeps us more alert. This triggers the body to produce a fight or flight response, which can often result in brief hormonal changes and causes us to feel less relaxed. This often leads to the ability to push through sickness and keeps our energy intact throughout the day.

As well as improving overall health and reducing the number of sick days as proven in this scientific study, cold showers have these benefits as well:

  • Improved Alertness: A cold shower will enhance your alertness throughout the day and stimulate your breathing. This can help to decrease levels of carbon dioxide  throughout the body and improve concentration through the day.
  • Reduction in Stress: Since a cold shower will place a small amount of stress on your body,  this can lead to a process which is called hardening. Your nervous system will be able to handle more moderate levels of stress gradually and this can help you find yourself keeping a cool head in stressful situations.
  • Enhanced Immune Response: Regularly exposing your body to cold water can improve the number of white blood cells you have in your body. The immune response can protect you against diseases and deliver an ongoing benefit in the lesser sick days.
  • Increased Weight Loss: Exposure to cold showers can improve our metabolic rate, and this stimulates the generation of brown fat. This will help us to quickly burn calories and assist with any weight loss efforts you may be taking on too.

Even though taking cold showers may seem daunting, its benefits are promising and can help restructure your health. Let us know in the comments section if you have tried taking cold showers or if you have noticed a difference in your health.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/
  2. https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days
  3. https://www.fastcompany.com/3043767/the-scientific-case-for-cold-showers

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Lifestyle

Living Longer With a Purpose

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Having a sense of purpose sure feels good, but did you know it can also help you to live a longer, healthier life? Being inspired and having a reason to get out of bed in the morning is great for your mental health, and your mental health can make a huge impact on your physical health and well-being. But how can you learn to cultivate a strong sense of purpose in your life, especially when you’re been through trying times in the past?

Stress and trauma close your mind off to new possibilities. Rather than looking toward the future, after a trauma has occurred, oftentimes you will start to think of ways to avoid such trauma in the future. Post-traumatic stress can make you pessimistic, fearing rejection and failure and decreasing your ability to weather uncertainty. Ove time this can have a snowball effect and lead to depression and an inability to focus on your work or life.

Fortunately, there is a way through such trying times. Reframing is a technique by which you can change your perspective on difficult times in order to find a way through them. Instead of focusing on the trauma, you can think about what you learned from the trauma that will help you to become stronger in the future, thus opening yourself up to the prospect of new possibilities in life.

Cultivating a sense of purpose isn’t difficult and you don’t need special equipment. All you need to do is take stock of the important things in your life – your family, your career, your education, your hobbies, and your religious or spiritual beliefs – and work to cultivate them on a regular basis. 

It’s important to cultivate these important things together simultaneously, as placing all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for future disappointment and aimlessness. When your entire sense of purpose is wrapped up in one thing, such as your kids or your career, when the kids move out or it’s time for retirement, you can find yourself in a very hopeless place. Cultivating those things simultaneously gives you a safety net of sorts to prevent the aimlessness and hopelessness from setting in.

Having a strong sense of purpose has been proven to be good for your health, well-being, and longevity. In one study, 7000 people over the age of 50 were asked to rate their feelings of purpose in life. Those who reported a weak sense of purpose were 2.4 times more likely to die during the study than those who reported a strong sense of purpose. What’s more, 64% of people credit their health and well-being to their happiness with who they are and how they live their lives.


It’s never too late to start working on improving your life and overall well-being. Pursuing hobbies and educational activities is one of the best ways to ensure you feel a strong sense of purpose in your life – lifelong learning is a gift that should never go wasted! Learn more about the art and science of purpose from the infographic below!

The Art and Science of Purpose
Source: Online College Plan

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Lifestyle

What is Cryotherapy?

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Cryotherapy, formally defined as any treatment that uses freezing or near-freezing temperatures, has been gaining prominence in the media for its mental and physical health benefits. The most prevalent form of this treatment is a cryotherapy booth that emits cold air for about 3-5 minutes. Other therapies include facials or wands to target particular points of pain within the body. Though cryotherapy is considered to be a non-medical treatment, it has various health benefits and healing properties. Here are a couple of aspects to keep in mind: 

Proposed Benefits: 

  • Reduction in Inflammation: Cryotherapy is thought to have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the symptoms of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive impairments. It has also reportedly improved eczema symptoms. 
  • Pain Relief and Muscle Healing: Research has suggested that cryotherapy alleviated the pain from arthritis and determined that it can assist in reducing the damaging effects of vigorous exercise. Another study indicates that cryotherapy may be able to relieve muscle pain and heal injuries more effectively than other treatments available. 
  • Alleviates Migraine Symptoms: Cryotherapy on the neck has shown to reduce migraine pain

Risks: 

Cryotherapy is a novel treatment in the market. More research needs to be conducted, as potential benefits have not been proven. Consult your healthcare before undergoing cryotherapy. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319740.php
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/cryotherapy-benefits#tips-and-guidelines

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Lifestyle

The Health Benefits of Live Cultures in Yogurt

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Yogurt is gaining prominence as a new superfood and for a good reason. It is known to help prevent osteoporosis, aid digestion, and relieves irritable bowel syndrome. What is special about yogurt is the various live cultures that keep the intestines healthy, thus contributing to gastrointestinal health. Here is a summary of the importance of different types of bacteria present in yogurt: 

In short, eating yogurt into your diet can be beneficial for your digestion and overall health. Let us know in the comments if you eat yogurt on a daily basis and have seen tangible benefits. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295714.php
  2. https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpgi.00005.2011
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/2/245/4690304
  4. https://www.water-for-health.co.uk/our-blog/2017/11/the-health-benefits-of-streptococcus-thermophilus/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323364.php

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