Cold showers have more benefits than just keeping you cool during this year’s record breaking temperatures.
Warning: If you have a heart condition, are immunocompromised, or otherwise have a serious underlying health condition, a cold shower routine may not be for you. If you do want to build cold showers into your routine, ice cold temperatures are not advised. According to health.clevelandclinic.org, the best way to to take them is to gradually give yourself time to adjust by dipping the temperature below 60 F/ 15 C.
According to an article posted on The Health Line, cold showers can boost your skin’s natural glow. Why is this? Simple, it affects blood flow, giving your skin a glow, while also not drying out the sebum layer of your skin (something that hot water does).
If you were one of the many people who didn’t get their hair cut for the first wave of COVID, a cold shower can help strengthen hair cuticles as well! Over time, your hair will get stronger and healthier. The cold water will trap moisture in your hair, whereas warm showers might strip it away– see this useful article on one woman’s cold shower hair journey!
Cold showers can (weirdly) enhance weight loss efforts by increasing the amount of calories you burn. According to an article published on Livestrong by Sylvie Trembley, “shivering causes hormonal changes that trigger the production of brown fat, reports a study published in Cellular Metabolism in 2014. Unlike normal fat tissue, which doesn’t burn many calories throughout the day, brown fat is metabolically active; it does burn calories to produce heat”. In addition, cold showers are linked to a higher metabolism. Though how, researches are still trying to understand.
Cold showers can improve your mood and help you fight depression as well as anxiety. Yes, you read that right. By causing an electrical jolt in your brain, cold showers can ease anxiety symptoms, increase mental clarity, stimulate alertness, increase your energy, they can cause a release of endorphins, and they can send neurotransmitters to your brain that have a positive effects on your mood! our favorite happy hormone– something we ought to keep in mind while living in the present global state of emergency. Give yourself a little pick-me-up to get through the day by turning on the cold water. It’s a form of water therapy.
They can improve your circulation by stimulating blood flow! We use ice for our sports injuries. Similarly, cold water reduces the temperature of a dysfunctional area of the body and allows for our warm blood to spread quicker to that area of the body. If you want to improve your circulation and blood flow, consider taking a few cold showers a week.
If you want to improve your immunity to illnesses, decreasing your shower temperature could help. Studies show that cold showers can have a good impact on your immune system. This study in the Netherlands concluded that those who took a few cold showers a week decreased the amount of times they called into work ill by 29%.
So consider (only if you do not have a heart condition or other underlying health condition) safely taking a nice cold shower every now and again or building in a well regulated routine of maybe 2 a week. You might see a few changes to your regimen and you’ll at least be able to to make it through this extremely hot summer.
Even if cold showers aren’t your jam, cold water in general can have great benefits for the reasons above. Swimming regularly or taking up a water sport could add a little spice to your daily regimen!