Scientists have proven that there are numerous cold shower benefits. Anytime your water heater ran out of hot water, or your roommate used it all, it had been seen as a terrible inconvenience. However, it turns out that it’s not so inconvenient, after all.
Environmentalists have told us to turn down the temperature of our showers for years to consume less energy. Now there is scientific evidence to back up why you should embrace showering with cold water. Let’s explore cold showers.
What Is Considered a Cold Shower
For the purposes of the scientific research, a cold shower was defined as a shower with water heated to no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For obvious reasons, the temperature of your water shouldn’t be much colder than that.
Water that is too cold can cause a range of medical issues. Water at 70 degrees Fahrenheit already feels cold to the average person. Water at 40-50 degrees is painful to touch. Stay in the 70-degree range for the greatest health benefits.
What Are The Proven Cold Showers Benefits?
Scientists have created a list of things that improve with the use of the cold shower technique. Here are a few of those benefits:
- An increase in endorphins– A cold shower is a shock to the system. This shock triggers the brain to release endorphins. For individuals who experience depression, the release of endorphins could help to elevate the mood.
- A boost in metabolism– There are two types of fat in the body: white fat and brown fat. White fat is the kind associated with conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Brown fat is not, and is considered a “good fat.” Cold showers can boost the production of brown fat which assists in reducing the white fat levels and keeping them in line.
- Improving circulation– Cold water has been used by athletes for years to help improve blood circulation. When the body is immersed in cold water, the water makes it harder for the body to maintain its core temperature. To keep the temperature at a proper level, the circulatory system has to work harder. This speeds up the blood flow throughout the body. Increased blood flow is helpful to host of medical conditions.
- Boosting the immune system– Taking a cold shower stimulates the production of leukocytes. Leukocytes help the body ward off germs, like the ones that cause the common cold. If you boost your leukocytes, you are less likely to get sick.
- Faster recovery and healing of the muscles– As mentioned above, athletes have used cold showers and baths for years. They use this technique to heal and recover from injuries faster. The improved circulation that comes with cold showers helps remove some of the lactic acid buildups in the body. Lactic acid is what causes the burning feeling in the muscles. When some of the built-up acids are removed from the muscle tissue, the body begins to heal sooner.
How Do You Take A Cold Shower?
To take a cold shower and reap the health benefits it offers, you actually need to start with warm water. Rinse off in warm water first and then slowly lower the water temperature. Once you have reached a temperature of roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit, resume showering.
Start with your legs, working slowly up each leg. Then switch to your arms, starting with the back of each arm and then flipping to the front. After that, you may rinse off the rest of your body. After completing the shower, take the water back up to the normal temperature and then repeat the process with warm water. After that, switch back to cold water one more time before ending your shower.
It is strongly suggested to ease into cold showers gradually. Start with once per week, and move to two times per week, and so on. Some take a cold shower every day in a bid to maximize the results. However, the tempo at which you make the transition should depend on what your body can tolerate. The key is to follow the strategy listed above and to alternate between warm and cold water in each shower session.
Why Aren’t Cold Showers More Popular?
It’s not that the doctors do not believe in the benefits of a cold shower. It’s just that they want people to proceed with caution. Cold shower benefits are plentiful! The issue is that some might take these benefits too seriously and jump in too fast.
Who Should Avoid Them?
While immensely helpful with a slew of problems, cold showers do have their limitations. As with any treatment option, holistic or not, consult your doctor before starting.
That being said, there are certain health conditions that might get aggravated with cold showers. Let’s see who should avoid them.
- Patients suffering from heart disease and those with weakened hearts should avoid cold showers. The jolt to your system could potentially trigger a heart attack.
- Individuals with high blood pressure are not good candidates for this type of treatment. Cold water causes your blood vessels to constrict. If you have high blood pressure, this is not something you would want to happen. Constricted blood vessels could trigger a stroke.
- If you have a fever or you are overheated, your instinct may tell you to take a cold shower. That would not be the best idea. When the body runs hot, it needs blood vessels to dilate, so it can release heat. Cold water has the opposite effect. Stick to showers and baths of normal temperature when you have fever.
Bringing It All Together
So, are there cold shower benefits? Yes, there are many. They can boost your health and assist with a wide range of health conditions. You can improve conditions ranging from poor circulation to muscle fatigue and inflammation.
Keep in mind, as with any other treatment, go slow and ease into it. Also, check with your doctor before starting with cold showers. Not every health condition mixes well this technique. Some can actually get worse and you could cause yourself harm.