Most men know their daily habits should include eating well, exercising and drinking water, but there are two surprising habits that should be on everyone’s list if they want to boost their mental health, according to wellbeing coach Gary Fahey.

These are cold showers and controlled breathing, he says.

“Having a cold shower every day imposes a small amount of stress on your body which helps your nervous system to get used to dealing with moderate levels of stress,” Fahey explains.

“In addition, doing something hard improves your willpower and ability to deal with discomfort, an important element to manage the stresses life throws at you.”

He says other benefits of cold showers include waking you up faster, boosting alertness and improving concentration for prolonged periods of the day.

“Cold showers also help to reduce the levels of CO2 in the body through an increase in breath rate, while activating an increase in white blood cells, the body’s natural disease-fighting armoury,” Fahey says.

“They also increase your metabolic rate and stimulate the activation of brown fat, a particular type of fat tissue that in turn generates energy by burning calories, so they are useful in helping you lose weight as well.”

He says the four key habits men must build are: eating well, having a cold shower every morning, exercising and deep breathing.

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