Recent studies have shown the advantages of cold showers over hot showers, and there is anecdotal evidence also that shows that the cold showers really are superior. Although the thought of a cold shower may bring you unease, knowing its benefits might help you reconsider.
People who take cold showers regularly have had favorable effects on both their physical as well as mental well-being.
Here are a few benefits that you may expect to experience after incorporating cold showers into your routine.
Clinical trials have proved that people who take cold showers tend to take fewer sick days off. Cold showers help build immune resistance. The body adapts to the cold temperature and, thereby, grows resistant to the effects of the cold weather.
As the body becomes more tolerant of cold, the chances of falling ill reduce. Cold showers have also been found to help increase the number of white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are a part of the body’s immune system and aid in fighting diseases and infections.
If you’ve been off the wagon for a while and want to stay away from substance abuse, then cold showers can help you avoid relapse. The urge to relapse seems trivial when you go through the actual physical discomfort of taking a cold shower.
But, having said that, cold showers should complement recovery programs at recovery centers, like The Palm Beach Institute, and should not go against the grain of their treatment options for long time substance abusers. Cold showers have a lot of other health benefits as well.
Helps in Alleviating Depression and Anxiety
Many people nowadays prefer alternative treatment methods to the medicinal treatments. One such treatment is hydrotherapy: a method in which water, as the healing force of nature, is used to treat diseases.
Research has shown that cold showers help reduce stress levels and also help with lowering depression and anxiety. Cold showers make the body release endorphins—the body’s natural painkillers, or the feel-good hormone—hence, reducing stress levels.
Cold temperature contributes to a higher level of alertness by giving you an energy boost. Cold showers shock the body and make it active, alert, and attentive. If you start your day by taking a cold shower in the morning, it will help you stay awake and active throughout the day.
Metabolism is a process by which food is turned into energy. Cold showers increase the body’s metabolic rate and burn stored fat in order to maintain an ideal temperature.
Cold showers also help in the production of brown fat. Brown fat is a type of fat that generates heat when exposed to cold temperatures. It produces heat to maintain the body’s temperature in cold conditions, and it does this by burning more calories. Hence, cold showers may contribute to weight loss. People who are trying to shed some weight should try and make cold showers part of their routines.
When we are exposed to the cold, our body works to regulate the internal temperature. Cold showers help boost blood circulation, warming up the body in response to the cold. Many people have reported that their skin looks better after taking cold showers. The improved blood circulation can help cardiovascular patients and may reduce disease risks. The reason that ice packs work so well to heal inflammations is because the ice promotes better blood circulation to and from the injured spot. Energy levels also increase as the circulation system improves.
Hair and Skin
Hot showers may cause dryness which can lead to some adverse effects for both the skin and hair. Many people complain of itchiness after a hot shower. Cold showers, on the other hand, don’t cause itching and may contribute to better looking skin and hair. The reason behind this may be that cold showers prevent dryness and boost the body’s blood circulatory system. Cold showers make you appear more fresh, young and healthy. The cold water tightens the skin pores, enhancing the look and glow of your skin.
You may get sore after an intense workout or a run. Athletes will take cold showers immediately after their workouts to soothe their muscles. Many physical therapists recommend taking a cold shower after a hard workout as it can help reduce soreness and relieve muscular tension. And as mentioned before, cold showers also help reduce inflammation.
A Word of Caution
It is important to take into account the possible risks attached to taking cold showers. To avoid getting sick, gradually ease into a cold-shower routine. Cold showers are not recommended for heart patients because they can cause the heart rate to shoot up when you gasp for air under the cold water. Further, if you are already cold or sick, you should avoid taking a cold shower as it may exacerbate your condition.
Cold showers can assist in the healing process, but they must not replace viable treatment options.
Cold showers have both mental and physical benefits. It helps uplift mood, increases energy levels and reduces stress. It improves the appearance of your skin, reduces itchiness, and makes the body more efficient at healing. It also jacks up the immunity of your body, making you more resistant to diseases. Cold showers contribute towards weight loss and improves depressive symptoms in some people.