Cold showers are any showers with a water temperature below 70°F. There are so many shocking health benefits of cold shower, as we shall find out in this article.
The English dictionary defines ‘to have a shower’ as ‘to clean oneself under running water’. A shower is a cubicle or bath in which a person stands under a spray of water to wash. People take showers for different reasons, but the most common reason is to clean up themselves. A shower is often mistaken for a bath, which is taken in (usually) still water in a tub of some kind, lying down.
As stated earlier, people take showers for different reasons, with the most common being to clean themselves up. The regularity of showers also differs from person to person. Some people like to have two showers daily, in the mornings and evenings. Other people prefer to take showers three times daily in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. Yet another group of persons are content with one shower every day. This, of course, depends on the individual’s reasons for taking the shower.
Experts have argued over time, as to the necessity of constant showers. Some of these scientists believe regular showers can cause the skin to dry out, especially in babies and infants. This does not, however, stop individuals from enjoying showers when they need them.
A shower could be taken with cold water or hot water. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and is taken depending on individual preferences. The temperature of the water used for a shower has different benefits for health.
Our focus in this article, however, is to discuss the benefits of cold shower.
What Are The Benefits Of Cold Shower?
Although taking a cold shower may not always be a pleasant experience (especially in cold regions of the world), it can provide certain health benefits to the body.
Over the years, so many scientific studies and researches have been carried out, aimed at discovering the benefits of cold shower. Cold showers are beneficial to not only the body but also the mind.
We will now discuss in detail, the benefits of cold shower:
- It Can Help To Reduce Your Stress Levels: One of the common benefits of cold shower is that it imposes a small amount of stress on the body, which leads to a process called hardening. This means that your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress. The next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, this hardening process helps you to keep a cool head.
In addition, in a research carried out in 2000, the participants in the research were placed in a 14 degree Celsius water for one hour. This triggered a reduction in the stress hormone in the body (the hormone called cortisol).
- Cold Showers Can Increase Your Level Of Alertness: When it comes to the benefits of cold shower, you cant skip these point. Cold showers wake your body up, inducing a higher state of alertness. The cold also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body, increasing oxygen levels and helping you concentrate. In this way, cold showers keep you ready and focused throughout the day.
This is quite easy to explain and understand. The temperature difference comes as a ‘shock’ to your body and causes you to be alert. A quick example is what happens when mum dumps a few splashes of cold water on your face. Do you remember how alert it gets you? Think about what happens when you stand under a shower and the cold water hits your body.
The explanation for this is that the change in temperature places your body under ‘stress’ and sends your sympathetic nervous system into a “fight or flight” response. As a result, you may, all of a sudden, feel much more focused and alert.
- Cold Showers Are Good For Your Immune System: Although there is still ongoing research to confirm this, scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the number of white blood cells in your body. These blood cells protect your body against diseases. response. This is supposedly due to the increase in metabolic rate caused by the shock of temperature change which stimulates the immune response.
- Cold Showers May Help You Lose Weight: This is probably one of the unexpected benefits of cold shower. There is evidence that taking cold showers (and exposure to cold in general), in addition to increasing metabolic rate directly, stimulates the generation of brown fat. Brown fat is a type of fat that helps to generate heat around the body by burning calories.
In short, the body’s reaction to cold water temperature increases metabolism. As the body system tries to keep warm, it uses energy. This is a self-heating process that burns some calories. Some fat cells in the body, especially around the neck and shoulder area, generate heat by burning fat.
Fun fact: Cold-water immersion at 14℃ increases metabolism by 350%.
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- Cold Showers Increase Blood Circulation: Other benefits of cold shower is the circulation of blood. Cold showers help to increase blood circulation. When cold water touches your body, the shock puts your circulatory system into overdrive. Your body increases blood flow to warm your body and protect vital organs and at the same time, constricts circulation near your skin.
This process stimulates blood flow and is very beneficial to your health. In summary, cold showers make the blood flow faster through the body to maintain the ideal body temperature.
- Cold showers may help you sleep better: Another benefits of cold shower is that it will help make your sleep better.
- Cold Showers Can Provide Pain Relief: This is one of the shocking benefits of cold shower. The explanation behind this is that cold constricts blood vessels, reducing swelling and it also potentially slows the rate at which pain signals are transmitted to the brain.
- Cold Showers Can Reduce Muscle Soreness Caused By Participating In Sporting Activities: Having a shower with cold water can significantly lower muscle soreness and fatigue.
- Cold Showers Are Good For The Heart: As earlier discussed, cold showers can help to improve blood circulation around the body. This is particularly good for the heart.
- A Cold Shower Is Good For Your Mental Health And Helps Relieve Depression: More research is needed to confirm this. Previous scientific research carried out on this, shows that taking cold showers for two to three minutes, once or twice a day, preceded by a five-minute ‘adjustment period’ of slowly cooling water, could be a helpful part of relieving some of the symptoms of depression. You might wonder how this is possible.
The theory behind this is that exposure to cold activates the sympathetic nervous system and, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, sends lots of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain. It might sound like a lot to understand, but the long and short is that one of the benefits of cold shower is that it can help relieve depression.
- Cold Improves Your Skin Texture: This may come as shock, but this is one of the benefits of cold shower. A cold shower can help improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
It is important to mention at this point, that if you have heart disease, it may be dangerous to adopt a cold shower routine. This is because your body’s reaction to cold water puts added stress on your heart and could lead to an irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia. If you have or are at risk of heart disease, talk to your doctor about the possible effects of cold showers on your health.
If you decide to take a cold shower for one of the benefits listed above, there are a few points to bear in mind. The first is that it is important to give your body time to adjust to the temperature of the water. Scientists say that thirty seconds under the cold stream of water can deliver some of the desired results and responses. In addition, the potential benefits of cold shower begin to ebb after about three minutes.
In general, there is no ‘best way’ to take a cold shower. It is all about what works best for you. Sometimes, it might take a few episodes of trial and error to figure it out.
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Cold showers are showers with a temperature below 70°F. There are plenty of shocking health benefits of cold shower. Although these benefits need to be backed by more scientific research, evidence obtained from research so far shows that cold showers do offer these benefits/advantages.
Some common advantages of a cold shower are that it can boost your level of alertness, help you feel cooler and help you sleep better and help reduce your stress levels. Then, there are the uncommon benefits of cold shower, helping you lose weight and improving your skin texture. Remember that cold showers are not for everyone. If you have a history of heart disease, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about taking cold showers.