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Make your life easy by doing something hard?
The bonus is that it only takes 3 minutes!
What is the daily PBR, you ask? Well, in this case at least, it’s not Pabst Blue Ribbon. PBR is otherwise known as the polar bear rinse.
Surprise! It’s just as uncomfortable as it sounds. Take a hot shower, enjoy your moment of self-care, and finish off with a shock of cold water. Some say it’s about as titillating as (insert celebrity name) in just about every movie he’s ever made.
Why on earth would someone rinse in ice-cold water? Well, there are actual scientific and physiological benefits. The practice has roots in traditional Nordic culture, which involved sitting in a sauna for a period of time, followed by jumping in a freezing river.
A polar bear rinse is a form of hydrotherapy, a treatment that uses the physical properties of water to manage pain. Little did the Nordic folks know, when you move from hot to cold really fast, you’re actually playing with your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.
The parasympathetic side handles your body’s “rest and digest” functions, AKA, it’s in charge when you head to the spa for the day. The sympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, takes care of your body’s “fight or flight” reactions, which usually kick in when you’re in a stressful situation (like when you’re running late to pick up the kids after school, am I right?).
Rinsing with a shock of cold water after a long, hot shower kicks your body from one system into another, really, really fast. Believe me, there are both physiological and psychological benefits to putting yourself through this misery.
Challenge yourself to handle the freezing cold for three minutes or more, and you’ll start to see the effects: increased metabolism and white blood cells, plus a stronger heart rate and immune system. It’s even good for your skin and hair. Did I mention, it’s good for your skin?
Yup, that’s right. The rush of cold water will get your circulation going, leading to a natural, healthy glow. While warm water tends to dry out skin, cold water helps retain moisture.
Lest we forget, the major brownie points that comes with starting your morning with an exhilarating PBR. Every small success grows your grit!
Curious? Try it out during your next shower, and let us know how it goes by leaving a comment.