In recent years, cold showers have gained in popularity. However, you might be wondering why you would want to subject yourself to a cold shower when you can take a warm and pleasant shower at your ideal temperature. Indeed, for most people the idea of taking a cold shower is enough to make them shiver. However, if you can get past the initial shock of getting cold showers, you will soon discover that they provide some amazing health benefits that you do not get with warm and hot showers.
Why take cold showers?
Taking a shower is essential for the well-being of the body, but also to maintain good hygiene. Water also helps to hydrate the skin, to cleanse it, in particular by removing dead skin. Washing also helps to get rid of the impurities that settle on our body, on our hair, etc…
However, while taking a shower is mainly done to maintain personal hygiene, for your well-being, for comfort and to feel at ease in society, taking a cold shower provides benefits beyond the aforementioned ones.
1. Improved blood circulation
Taking a cold shower allows good blood circulation. As it spreads over the body, cold water stimulates the arteries as well as the veins. These tighten and increase blood pressure. Accelerated blood flow allows blood to reach vital organs faster. Thanks to this, blood circulation increases, which is beneficial for health in general. But also, for the organs and the heart muscle. With optimal blood circulation, the appearance of varicose veins can also be prevented.
1. An excellent remedy for insomniacs
If you have trouble getting to sleep or if you suffer from insomnia, a cold shower might be the solution for you. Just before bed, take a Scottish shower—the concept of taking a hot-to-cold shower. This will help you adjust your body temperature. A cold shower helps the body to better regulate its temperature, to calm down, and relax. You should take the Scottish shower at bedtime. The alternation between hot and cold allows the muscles to relax and give you a feeling of well-being, ideal for promoting good conditions for falling asleep. At the same time, to find sleep and sleep better, you can also practice relaxing activities and use certain plants such as valerian and chamomile.
2. More energy in the morning
For some people, taking a cold shower upon waking up may seem disproportionate. However, starting your day with a cold shower may be ideal to boost your energy level. Indeed, taking a cold shower causes people to deep breath due to the thermal shock, and this helps maintain body heat.
Oxygen uptake is also increased. This at the same time increases the heart rate and transmits a significant amount of blood to all parts of the body. Thanks to the cold shower, I guarantee that you will have the necessary energy to start your day in the best way.
3. Help to lose weight
Taking cold showers is a big help when trying to lose weight. Indeed, washing in cold water causes a sudden drop in body temperature. To compensate for this effect, our body will boost its metabolism and burn more calories. And this, in order to warm up.
Glucose and lipids are the first nutrients to be consumed under these conditions. This allows our body to eliminate the elements that tend to make us fat. If you have already tried different diets and tricks to lose weight, know that taking a cold shower is effective! This is a very simple trick to implement, so why not? The cold water will also have the effect of firming the skin and giving it a smoother effect. If you are looking to lose weight, don’t hesitate to take cold showers.
4. Fight depression with cold showers
Taking a cold shower (at least five minutes) can help calm and de-stress. The body regains a feeling of well-being that is very valuable in the event of stress, restlessness, or depression. The brain secretes norepinephrine (an antidepressant hormone) when stimulated by cold.
A shower at around twenty degrees Celsius promotes the release of the hormones of happiness: endorphins. When released, they cause a very appreciable feeling of well-being in the event of slackness, loss of morale or simply depression. Of course, depression cannot be cured with the help of cold showers alone. But they are one more step towards healing and mental well-being.
5. An indisputable fountain of youth
It turns out that cold water therapy helps increase the level of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is in fact one of the most powerful antioxidant enzymes found naturally in the cells of the human body. It has many properties, including that of slowing down aging.
In short, it has been scientifically demonstrated that showering with cold water can help us keep our youthfulness as long as possible!
6. Cold showering improves your lymphatic system
Your lymphatic system takes care of the disposal of waste products in your body and helps protect you from diseases. If your lymphatic system is blocked or not working properly, this can result in frequent colds, infections, and pain in your joints.
Cold showering brings more flexibility to the lymphatic vessels. This is partly because your muscles contract when you step under the cold shower. The movement of the muscles causes the lymph fluid to move. This ensures that wastes in the lymphatic vessels are pumped out.
The same thing basically happens when you exercise. This results in a stronger immune system and a healthier body.
7. Increased alertness
Research shows that a cold shower or ice bath results in an increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and faster breathing. Indeed, when taking a cold shower, your muscles tighten. That causes vascular constriction. This increases your blood pressure and ‘hydrostatic pressure’, which causes your heart to pump faster and more blood to go towards your muscles.
This way, the blood brings different substances to the right places in the body. Think of oxygen, vitamins, minerals, glucose, and fatty acids. At the same time, waste is disposed of. And the circulation is also important for fluid management, growth, and the physical immune system. And all this can be activated by a cold shower!
8. Improve the respiratory system
When our body comes into contact with cold water, it is neither ready nor very receptive. So, we tend to breathe more intensely and deeply. The body tries to find warmth thanks to our inspirations. And deep breaths deliver significant amounts of oxygen to the lungs and organs. The lungs open as much as possible to let air in and become more and more efficient.
9. Naturally increase your muscle mass
The benefits of cold on the muscles are no longer to be proven. Many athletes use cryotherapy to recover more easily after intense and/or long exertion. Some of them do not hesitate to immerse their bodies in baths filled with ice cubes after their workouts. Indeed, after a workout, aches can appear, as well as other muscle pains related to fatigue and physical exertion.
Cold water (and cold in general) helps reduce swelling and slow down the breakdown of muscle tissue. This helps in particular to relieve muscle aches and pains. As such, the cold also helps optimize recovery after physical exertion. Athletes can also benefit from the stimulation of hormonal secretions (serotonin, norepinephrine), which are beneficial to physical and mental well-being. The muscles are less painful and recover faster, allowing for more intense and regular workouts. Cold showers thus help to optimize sports performance!
10. Boost hormones and testosterone
As we have seen, cold showers are able to stimulate hormonal secretions in the brain system. But they also work more broadly, across the whole body. Cold water stimulates the activity of the glands, especially those responsible for the secretion of testosterone. The body produces more sperm, which in turn increases male fertility. With cold showers, you can promote an increase in testosterone, which is very important. Testosterone is responsible for triggering desire and cravings in the human body. Libido is therefore also boosted to the maximum!
11. An effective pain reliever and immune booster
When we injure ourselves, we have the reflex to run our injury under cold water: this is not by chance! Cold water provides a strong pain relieving effect, which relieves any pain. Of course, this is a “first aid” act that temporarily relieves the pain. In the event of a serious injury, it is important to consult a specialist or go to the emergency room, depending on the nature of the injury. However, to fight against certain chronic pain (muscle pain, arthritis, inflammation, etc.), cold showers are beneficial. They offer a moment of respite, where the pain decreases significantly.
You should also know that taking cold showers is beneficial for the immune system. Contact with cold water stimulates the various functions of the body, of which the immune system is a part. It also promotes the production of antioxidant enzymes, which allows for better elimination of waste from the body. And it is also beneficial for the metabolism!
12. Beautify your skin and hair
Besides dietary supplements and other oils such as coconut oil, argan oil or spirulina to enhance the beauty of your hair, you can also use cold showers to take care of its appearance. Indeed, cold water brings a certain beauty to the skin, but also to the hair. The benefits are significant.
Cold water helps hydrate the skin and combats dry hair. Conversely, hot showers damage the hair and often make it brittle and duller. The pores of the skin open on contact with cold water, allowing for a thorough and deep cleansing. On contact with hot water, the pores close and prevent us from washing properly. In addition, with cold showers, the hair breathes and revitalizes itself … This helps prevent hair loss, but also the appearance of unsightly dandruff.
13. Good for the planet
For us human beings, the benefits of the cold shower are manifold, as we have so far seen. But cold showers are also good for the planet. So yes, it is nice to run a bath. And every now and then, we can take the time to relax under a stream of hot water. However, we must not forget that water is a precious commodity, which we must preserve. Each of us should try to reduce our water consumption: every drop is precious!
Taking a bath means using twice the water usually needed to take a shower. And a cold shower is usually much faster than a hot shower. It is true that we rarely want to linger under a stream of cold water. In addition, with a cold shower, there is no need to use the home’s heating system. This can save water and energy. All while really taking care of yourself!
14. Promote discipline
It’s not easy to take cold showers everyday… especially in winter. Doing something right at the beginning of the day that you look up to every day requires a lot of mental strength. So, you need quite a bit of discipline to make this a regular part of your morning routine.
Getting in the habit of taking cold showers everyday will increase your discipline. Then, you can use this mental superpower in all kinds of other areas of your life that require your willpower and discipline (almost everything worthwhile).
15. Improve emotional resilience
Are you often frustrated, anxious, angry, or stressed? Cold showering can help with that. Cold showers train your nervous system to be more resilient and deal with stress. The cold showers cause a small amount of stress on your nervous system, which your body learns to deal with this. In the long term, this can lead to a calmer and calmer response to stressful situations.
Tips and recommendations for taking cold showers
So, you want to start taking cold showers. Good news! To help you start, here’s some great tips for you.
But before that, we must address a particular contraindication. If you have heart problems, it is not good to jump into cold water. It can cause some blood circulation problems, in particular by accelerating it significantly. Prefer lukewarm showers to cold showers or ask your doctor for advice.
1. Lower the temperature gradually
If others can, why can’t you? But a cold shower doesn’t just happen. The first cold showers will be the most difficult. However, rest assured: you will quickly get used to it.
At first, do not try to get into the shower in frozen water, or your motivation may blow. Gradually lower the temperature of the water to give your body time to get used to it. Start with lukewarm water. Gradually, you will be able to lower the temperature of the water without feeling any thermal shock. The body will react much better to a gradual change in temperature. Over time, your body will be better used to receiving only cold water. The temperature drop will become faster, and then quickly obsolete.
2. Take cold showers even in winter
While many of us like to take cool showers in the summer, especially to cope with the heat, we need to continue this good habit in the winter. Indeed, if the winter periods make hot showers and baths appreciable, cold showers remain the most beneficial. Even if it may be daunting at first, your body will get used to the cold temperatures.
Also be aware that a cold shower does not have to be long. Five to ten minutes is enough. Also know that it is important to dry yourself properly. Rub yourself vigorously when you get out of the shower, to dry yourself completely. This will help activate the blood circulation a little more and warm your body after you shower.
Another tip is to create a favorable mood, something that can distract you. Putting on the radio or music is a good method of distraction. This catches your attention and therefore helps you to forget that your shower temperature is at a minimum. Try to make this moment a pleasant one!
More cold showers for better health
As you know by now, taking cold showers brings a lot of benefits for your body. However, very few of us use it, so very few benefits from this influx of energy. What a pity! However, I hope this article has convinced you. These few minutes in the cold shower each morning will make the day much more enjoyable, especially by calming anxieties and de-stressing you.
A southern gentleman at heart, Stephan is man you’ll find mudding, off-roading, and fishing on a typical weekend. This passion for all-things nature also influences his writing career as he covers issues relating to the environment, climate change and endangered species for the Scientific Origin.