The benefits of taking a cold shower are numerous. It improves physical and also your mental health.
Some of its effects are to improve mood, increase energy, reduce inflammation or improve sleep quality.
Cold showers have been practiced thousands of years as a natural treatment for general health and well-being.
In fact, until the last century, taking hot showers was a luxury that the majority of the population could not afford.
The Spartans used to get up from their wooden beds, did two hours of exercise and then take a cold water bath.
They thought that hot water was for the weak and that cold water trained their bodies and minds to be strong, vigorous and always ready for battle.
The first showers with heating systems were developed by the Athenians.
Several cultures around the world use cold water as part of their religious ceremonies.
Japanese Shinto practice a ritual called Misogi, which requires sitting under a waterfall to purify their souls.
In countries such as Russia or Finland, a popular hobby during winter is to rotate between the sauna and go outdoors to jump in frozen lakes and surrounded by snow.
In modern times, world-class athletes use ice baths to fasten their recovery process and improve their performance.
Here are the benefits of taking a cold shower.
Let’s get started.
Benefits of Taking Cold Shower
1. Improve Your Physical Health
The force of cold water on your skin makes your heart beat faster and your muscles flex.
This sends blood to your muscles and vital organs.
Hot water does the opposite, moving blood to the surface of your skin.
Shifting between hot and cold water while taking a shower is a great way to stimulate and improve your blood circulation.
This also helps to improve your nervous system.
2. Psychological Benefits
The ancient samurai of Japan used to pour buckets of ice water over their heads in the morning to cleanse their body and spirit.
They believed it helped them begin a new day with a fresh start.
Cold showers release chemical components in your brain that improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and relieve depression.
3. Improve Your Mood
Cold showers can stimulate the flow of norepinephrine in your brain.
It is associated with the improvement of mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.
When cold water touches your body, your breathing is deeper in response to the shock caused by the cold water.
It is a reflection of your body to keep you warm by increasing oxygen intake.
Your heart rate also increases, resulting in a rush of blood throughout your body that makes you feel energized.
4. Increased Energy And Faster Recovery
Taking cold showers can also increase your energy levels because the nerves of your skin are activated.
Your heart will start beating rapidly and you start breathing fast.
On the other hand, cold water allows you to recover after doing sports.
In fact, athletes often take a cold shower after intense physical exercise.
5. Treatment of Inflammations
A cold shower is often used by athletes to reduce inflammation after a training session.
Their veins contract throughout the body and toxins are eliminated from their blood.
6. Stress Tolerance
In general, exposure to cold can improve the ability to control stress.
Over time, this will strengthen your immune system.
Cold showers have also been used to reduce chronic pain, improve kidney function and also the quality of your sleep.
7. Lymphatic Movement
The lymphatic system is separated from your blood vessels and is responsible for transporting cell debris and fighting pathogens.
The lymphatic fluid contains debris and white blood cells, which fight infections.
Cold showers cause your entire body to contract and this is very good for your lymphatic system since the fluid expands throughout your body.
If your lymphatic system is not active, fluid will accumulates in the extremities (usually your feet) and this can result in illness.
8. Detoxify Your Body
Cold water stimulates toxins to be removed outside your skin.
Therefore, they do not remain inside your body, where it can cause infections.
9. Improves Sleep
For some reason, a cold shower helps improve the quality of your sleep.
This could be due to the feeling of well-being and relaxation after the shock with the cold shower.
10. Better Appearance for Skin And Hair
Hot water opens your pores and cold water closes them.
Using hot water to clean your pores and then using cold water to close them will improve the condition of your skin.
The same treatment works for your hair.
11. Increased Testosterone And Fertility
It is known that heat kills sperm.
On the contrary, a cold shower has the opposite effect.
Since they increase the level of your testosterone, which leads to an increase in sperm production and fertility improvement.
12. Improves Breathing
It is likely that as soon as you take a cold shower you will get hyperventilates, which is a natural response.
However, panic will only make the experience somewhat more unpleasant so it is in your interest to calm down and take a deep breath.
13. Increase Your Metabolic Rate
Cold showers increase your metabolic rate.
Cold temperatures force your body to regulate the temperature continuously, which uses many calories.
14. Improve Your Willpower
If you are not used to it, showering with very cold water is unpleasant, unless it is winter.
Doing so requires willpower.
When you do it several times you will build that strength to do difficult things and your resilience.
15. Improve Your Self-Esteem
One of the best ways to improve self-esteem is to do things that are challenging for you.
If you are used to showering with hot water then changing to cold water is a challenge.
So, if you can do this means that you have out of your comfort zone which will boost your self-confidence.
Cold Shower As A Habit
Although a cold shower has immediate benefits such as wakes you up and charges you with energy, the greatest benefits are seen in the long term.
Studies confirm that getting used to it is the most beneficial.
Getting used to the cold takes approximately 10 days for humans and the main change is a hypothermic response.
With constant exposure to cold air or water, your body can adapt and increase norepinephrine and thyroxine which are considered the hormones of “good stress.”
It will also lead to the mobilization of fatty acids and the loss of fat in 1 to 2 weeks.
Caution! Cold showers should not be taken by pregnant women or during menstruation because your body is already in a stressful situation.
How Do You Start Taking A Cold Shower?
Now comes the action, how do you start taking a cold shower??
- Acknowledge that new habits require discomfort: as soon as you recognize the great goals you want to achieve and the new habits you want to have in your life require discomfort, it will be easier.
- Do it slowly or fast: some people feel more comfortable doing it slowly and others prefer to do it fast. You will regret if you end up without doing it if you do it slowly. Try to do it instantly so you won’t have the option to undo what has been done.
- Don’t think too much: No point thinking you will have to take cold showers for the rest of your life because it will only make it much more difficult.
- Sweat first: even if you live in a country with cold weather, you can exercise first and then take a shower. It will also be a way to cool down and prevent fatigue and muscle pain after long sessions of exercise.
Have you tried a cold shower before? Share you experience below.