Maintaining our health and wellbeing is linked to multiple different factors including diet, exercise, stress and our social lives among many others.
This can seem almost overwhelming to think about on a daily basis.
However, one expert has recommended a simple hack you can apply to your daily routine for this very reason.
Doctor Poonam Desai, from the US, has recommended taking cold baths or showers as part of a regular routine.
Speaking to her almost 200,000 followers on Instagram, she shared a video on the benefits of the cold plunge.
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She claimed that cold exposure can boost collagen to reduce wrinkles, reduce stress levels, decrease inflammation and even improve sleep.
Dr Poonam said: “Did you know that exposing yourself to cold for a brief amount of time has many, many health benefits?
“What I mean by exposing yourself to cold is taking a cold shower or cold bath, taking a plunge into an ice bath and you want to make sure that you do that for a brief amount of time.”
As reported by the Mail Online, she recommended 11 minutes of cold exposure a week splitting the time into multiple two to three minute sections.
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One of the benefits of cold exposure includes its ability to boost collagen, according to Dr Poonam.
“What that means is it helps reduce wrinkles and increase elasticity of our skin. It also helps reduce stress, decrease inflammation and it may even improve our sleep,’ she said.
“If you haven’t tried cold exposure, definitely add that into your routine, it has many benefits for our overall health.”
However, she advised speaking to a doctor before starting a new routine and warned it might not be suitable for everyone – including pregnant people.
Dr Poonam is not the first expert to advocate for cold water exposure.
Speaking to Express.co.uk earlier this year, chief executive officer and founder of the Uda longevity drink, Dr Avi Roy, said: “Incorporating cold exposure practices into your daily routine increases resilience and improves your overall health.”
He added: “Research suggests that standing in cold temperature tanks for a short amount of time can prevent age-related forms of cognitive decline, such as dementia.
“The temperature reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which are two leading factors of brain function.”
And one study, published in the British Medical Journal this year, trialled the effects of cold water exposure on “healthy” young soldiers in the Czech Army.
It concluded that exposure to cold water had both mental and physical benefits, including a reduction of body fat and anxiety.
“Regular exposure positively impacts mental status and physical composition, which may contribute to the higher psychological resilience,” it said.
“Additionally, cold exposure as a part of military training is most likely to reduce anxiety among soldiers.”
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