Body, soul and gardening - cold therapy

As the temperatures drop, we tend to want to stay warm and cosy indoors.  But feeling a bit chilly can have potential well-being benefits, from easing anxiety to improving circulation and inflammation.

Cold therapy has become a buzz word in well-being, and while most people associate this with plunging into icy water, research indicates that even short bursts of exposure to colder temperatures may have benefits.

Central heating and insulation has meant we can keep comfortably warm most of the time, but scientists suggest that it’s good for our bodies to acclimatise to the cold.  This will have positive effects on the body with benefits such as increased blood flow and metabolism that can be good for our health and resilience.

So, if it’s looking grim out there and putting you off doing a spot of gardening, perhaps your body will thank you for braving the cold.  You don’t have to be uncomfortably chilled to feel the benefit: just doing a short burst of gardening such as pruning the roses on a cold morning can be enough.

And if you want to do something very physical like turning a compost bin, or digging out a tree stump, winter is the time to do it, as research shows your heart doesn’t work as hard in cold weather (as it’s not working on things like sending blood to the skin to cool it down), so you can garden for longer and more healthily. 

Then, once you’ve finished, coming back in for a well-earned cup of tea will be all the more appreciated.