There are many ways to strengthen the immune system. There are complex and non-traditional ones, there are effective and expensive ones, there are fashionable and dubious ones. And there are simple, affordable and proven. For example, hardening is an obligatory part of the health program of the population during the Soviet era. If at this place you were disappointed, without waiting for a magical discovery, if you absolutely want to be healthy only under a warm blanket and not in any way under a contrast shower, then read to the end and dispel your doubts.
Winter is the most suitable period for hardening, because at this time of the year the body is mobilized and more easily tolerates the effects of low temperatures. But you should not literally follow the proverb “From the fire to the frying pan.” It is advisable to start accustoming to the cold gradually, without risks and stress.
Yes, exactly steps, barefoot at home. At first, 10 minutes is enough, after a week you can increase the time and gradually bring it up to 1 hour. Now you can proceed to the cool foot baths. Dip your feet in the basin for just a few seconds, lower the water temperature by 1 degree every day. You can also use two basins – with cold and hot water, creating a contrast. Successfully passed this stage – forward to the snowy trails. But this is worth mentioning separately.
Snow and ice
For hardening, snow is the most suitable substance, softer and gentler than water. You can run barefoot in the snow, dive into a snowdrift after a bath, or bring it home in a bucket, rub your body with snowballs, and then with a warm, dry towel. There is only one “but”. Perfect, clean and fluffy snow exists either in a country house or in a picture on your desktop. City snow is mixed with mud, sand and chemical de-icing agents. Therefore, it is better for residents of the metropolis to replace this item with the following.
In the evening, fill a bucket of cold water and leave it to warm up a little at night. In the morning after the usual daily shower, pour over prepared water, gradually reducing its temperature. After this procedure, you will feel cheerful and energized. Metabolic processes will improve, you can even lose a couple of kilograms. This effect is due to the release of endorphins, hormones of joy, and you may want to go further – to the ice hole.
Immersion in an ice hole is considered an extreme type of hardening and is not suitable for everyone. With such a sharp cooling, the heart begins to work in a stressful mode, blood pressure rises, so winter swimming is prohibited for people with heart disease, diseases of the circulatory system and asthma.
Before entering the hole, you need to warm up the body, but in no case with alcohol. Jogging, squats for a quarter of an hour will prepare the body for diving. For beginners, the time spent in the hole should be no more than 15 seconds. Do not dip your head so as not to increase heat loss. After diving, you should wipe yourself dry, dress warmly and drink hot tea.
It is necessary to make the first entry into the hole with accompanying persons, and it is better in specially equipped places for winter swimming, where like-minded people gather who will insure and provide assistance. Traditionally, swimming in the ice hole is practiced on Epiphany – this is a good starting point for starting winter swimming. Even if you do not profess Orthodoxy, mass baptismal bathing has advantages – equipped fonts, the duty of rescue workers, and, well, … some kind of patronage of higher powers, whoever believes in what. There are opinions of scientists that on this holiday the water acquires a special structure, due to which it does not deteriorate and is considered holy.
So, you can and should start hardening in winter. And let the bitter cold not scare. Just in dry cold weather, SARS viruses are dormant and cause less trouble, they are activated on the damp days of the end of winter. But by this time we will be ready.