If the prospect of a cold shower doesn't sound enticing, you may be surprised to learn of its many potential health benefits! Here are five ways in which colder showers could improve your wellbeing:
1. Boosted immune function:
Did you know that by taking cold showers you may improve your Immune system? It's true! Scientists believe this is because the sudden change in temperature causes an uptick in the production of cells and molecules essential for immunity. So next time you're feeling under the weather, or just want to give your immune system a little boost, consider taking a cold shower.
A study from 2015 that included 3018 healthy adults with no prior experience of cold showers found that those who took cold showers for at least 30 seconds called in sick 29% less than those who took warm showers. (1)
2. Increased Metabolism:
A cold shower might help support your weight loss journey in the long term by jumpstarting your metabolism. Being in cold water forces your body to work harder than usual to maintain its normal temperature. As a result, your metabolic rate also increases. However, keep in mind that a healthy diet and exercise routine are always the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
3. Improves Mood and Energy
Good mental health is a necessity for everyday life because it influences our thoughts, emotions, and actions. Furthermore, having good mental health allows us to manage stressors better, interact with others in a more positive light, and make wiser decisions. That's why taking care of oneself (i.e., self-care) is crucial to maintaining healthy mental hygiene habits
According to one study, cold water immersion improves memory, mood, energy, and tension in people who do it on a regular basis. The researchers of the study determined that "winter swimming," may help people feel more energetic and positive. (2)
4. Reduces Pain
It has been found that cold showers may help to reduce chronic pain and inflammation in the same way that icing an injury can help to reduce pain and swelling. This is because the superficial application of cold can decrease local metabolic function, edema, muscle spasm, and produce local anesthetic (pain numbing) effects. Additionally, it was revealed that consistent cold water immersion also helped lessen pain for asthma and fibromyalgia sufferers, as well as people with muscle tension or rheumatism. (3)
5. Promotes Post-Exercise Recovery
After a game or workout, many professional athletes take cold showers - it has even become somewhat of a common practice.
A review of 17 studies found that cold water immersion can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, which commonly occurs after exercise. (4) Cold showers may also be effective for cooling down the body after vigorous exercise in a hot environment.
Intrigued yet? The advantages of a cold shower can be felt in as little as 30 seconds! And if you're not ready to go all-in just yet, try starting with a warm shower and then gradually turning the water to cold for 30 seconds. You can always increase the intensity later on, according to your comfort level.
Post inspired by Fullscript. References:
Buijze, G. A., Sierevelt, I. N., van der Heijden, B. C. J. M., Dijkgraaf, M. G., & Frings-Dresen, M. H. W. (2016). The effect of cold showering on health and work: a randomized controlled trial. PLOS ONE, 11(9), e0161749.
Huttunen, P., Kokko, L., & Ylijukuri, V. (2004). Winter swimming improves general well-being. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 63(2), 140–144.
Mooventhan, A., & Nivethitha, L. (2014). Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. North American Journal of Medical Sciences, 6(5), 199.
Bleakley, C. M., & Davison, G. W. (2009). What is the biochemical and physiological rationale for using cold-water immersion in sports recovery? A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44(3), 179–187.