Cold Shower – What Can It Do For Your Body & Mind Health

A cold shower might not sound like the most attractive prospect early in the morning. We all want a toasty warm shower to ease out the slumber and get us started for the day.

Taking cold showers has numerous health benefits including boosting energy levels, improving fertility, speeding up metabolism, helping sleep, immune function, and making you more attractive. Here is what a cold shower can do for your body and mind health.

Improved Blood Circulation

Improved blood circulation is crucial for your overall cardiovascular health. Also, healthy blood circulation speeds up the recovery time from work and strenuous exercises. Taking a cold shower is a great way to boost circulation. A cold shower makes the blood flow to the organs to keep them warm.

Helps Prevent Common Illnesses

The human body is built to protect itself when exposed to some elements. For instance, leukocytes usually help fight off infections. The shock caused by cold water in your bloodstream triggers leukocytes, meaning taking a cold shower helps develop resistance to common illnesses like the flu and colds.

A study even showed that cold showers could make your body resistant to some types of cancer. People who are preparing for a surgery operation of other modes of treatment that can result in reduced immunity are advised to take cold showers beforehand.

Helps Improve Metabolism

White fat is usually associated with conditions like heart disease and obesity, but our bodies usually have brown fat. The study has shown that brown fat plays a crucial role in our well-being. Healthy levels of fat also show that the white fat would be at a more healthy level and the fat is activated after exposure to cold temperatures.

Obese people can’t just start to take cold showers in order to lose weight without changing their lifestyle habits. However, taking a cold shower several times a day might lead to improved metabolism. It might also help fight obesity. Although studies into the role that cold showers play in helping lose weight are still not clear, it has been found to have some benefits to your gut.

Increases Endorphins

Depression usually affects about 10% of UK’s adults according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Many drugs usually treat depression based on the duration or severity of the symptoms. One great method of treatment that has increasingly become popular is hydrotherapy. Taking cold showers for up to 10 minutes, twice or thrice per work has been found to help alleviate depression.

For people who are depressed, a cold shower can work as a type of gentle electroshock therapy. The cold water usually sends different electrical impulses to the brain. They then jolt the system to increase energy levels, clarity, and alertness. Endorphins, which are often referred to as happiness hormones are then released. This effect usually leads to feelings of optimism and wellbeing.

Increased Alertness

Taking cold showers can help make you feel more alert, especially because of the effect it has on the body. Studies have shown that taking cold showers has multiple physiological effects on the human body including elevated respiratory rate, higher blood pressure, and increased heart rate.

Also, a cold shower improves metabolism since it must work hard in order to maintain a stable temperature. Nevertheless, the exact duration of running a cold shower should be between 5 and 10 minutes, an individual shouldn’t completely depend on the metabolism-boosting effects as a technique to lose weight.

That said, taking cold showers could create a sense of alertness and invigoration, which might prompt an individual to become more physically active.

Faster Cooling After Sports Activities

Cold-water immersion therapy is a very common practice, especially amongst athletic activities.

Physical therapists who specialize in sports have said that cold temperatures can help reduce inflammation and relieve heat exertion.

Nonetheless, the researchers noted that cold showers weren’t as effective as immersion therapy for relieving exercises caused by high body temperatures.

Reduced Pain

The application of cold water may have the same effect as local anesthesia for pain relief. Exposure to cold water causes the blood vessels to constrict. This can result in reduced edema and swelling that causes pain. Taking cold showers can also slow the speed at which the nerve signals conduct impulses.

This can eventually reduce the rate that the nerves transmit the pain signals to your brain, which can reduce an individual’s perception of pain.

References

Carroll, L. (2019, December 6). Ice bath after workout may not improve fitness. U.S. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-muscle-ice-baths-idUSKBN1YA2CQ

Why suburban dad Peter Leary won’t go a day without a cold shower. (2021, June 22). ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-22/melbourne-man-takes-chill-showers-to-help-him-age-better/100230128

Why we should all be taking cold showers. (2021, April 27). BBC. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4Q1s9Tyb9ZZmyqZhQk489FS/why-we-should-all-be-taking-cold-showers

 

Annette Rhonwen

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