Did you know that there are tremendous health benefits to taking cold showers on a regular basis?
Shower time is something most of us look forward to. Whether it is a relaxing, end of day ritual, or a morning routine that wakes us up, showers keep us clean and make us feel good too. On the other hand, blasting ourselves with cold water isn’t generally a favorite past time, but forgoing a piping hot shower in favor of a cold one has a myriad of benefits. Here are just seven of them.
Tired in the morning? A cold shower will wake you up.
Warm showers are relaxing, and when you are trying to wake up in the morning that may not be the best thing for you. The shock of a cold shower can help you reach a new level of alertness, caffiene free. You probably already knew that, but what you may not know is that it can lead to an overall energy boost for the rest of the day.
The cold shower brings on deeper breathing, sending oxygen throughout your body and improving your heart rate. The result is higher energy levels that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for anything.
Prevents dry skin
As much as we love those warm and toasty showers, our skin does not find them so inviting. Warm showers can lead to dry skin, and that means a whole range of potential issues from flaking to blemishes. You can prevent these by choosing to take cold showers instead. Use a body scrubber to exfoliate during your cold shower for maximum benefits.
Helps you lose weight
A 2009 study discovered that brown adipose fat activates during exposure to cold temperatures. Many people have theorized based on this study that cold showers will help in losing weight. While the jury is still out on this, a cold shower will burn more calories, if only because your body is working harder to keep it warm.
To give this a try, you need to run cold water over your neck, shoulders, and back for just 30 seconds. It may not benefit you, but it beats sweating it out at the gym, give it a try.
Boosts your immune system
A 2016 study conducted on over 3,000 patients found that taking cold showers could help improve immunity. The study conducted in the Netherlands compared people who took 30-90 second cold showers against a control group who took ordinary showers. They then looked at how many sick days that the people took. Those who took cold showers had a 29% reduction in sick days, suggesting that they were healthier than those who did not.
It builds willpower
We all wish we had the willpower to commit to some of our goals. If we could just stay away from tempting (but calorie rich) treats, maybe we could lose weight. Or how about learning to run a mile? We feel like everybody is watching as we huff and puff our first hundred feet, and can quickly feel discouraged.
Taking a cold shower is daunting. It takes real willpower to get under that cold spray and endure the blast for even a few seconds. Even though it is a small thing for just a few seconds every day, it builds that willpower we need to go and do other important things.
Remember the goal is enrichment, not frustration. It’s okay to show your dog how to get the food out, or make it less difficult if they are having trouble with it. Maybe after learning how to hold up under cold water, you’ll have the strength to quit cigarettes. Who knows.
It’s hard to imagine something that just thinking about makes our blood pressure spike as stress reducing, but studies show that this is exactly the case. The cold water induces oxidative stress in your body. This helps your body practice what to do in stressful situations, and ultimately to handle them better.
Although sitting in traffic for hours on end can be painful and mind numbing, after a cold shower, it might not seem so bad. At least you can turn the heater up.
It makes our body work better
Part of what makes a cold shower so good for us is its potential for increasing the anti-oxidants in our body. A cold shower stimulates our body into producing glutathione, an anti-oxidant that not only helps our body on its own, it also stimulates other anti-oxidants into being more effective. This can help with the stress reducing and immunity parts of cold showers, but it also might be a way to fight depression.
Cold showers are no fun, and no it doesn’t feel any better after you’ve been showering with an icy blast for a month. (Or, well, ever.) Once you leave the shower however, you’ll have benefits you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.