Cold showers may be scary to most people, but they have a remediating impact more than warm and hot showers. If you haven’t yet made cold showers your thing, then it’s about time you did!
Hot showers are soothing first thing in the morning warming us up, but cold water showers below 20°C (70°F) to near-frozen ones are twice more beneficial and should have a place in your daily routine. I’ve been having regular cold water showers now for much over 2 years. There has been a significant effect on many areas of my life and with that i wanted to share with you my experence and how you can jump on the cold shower wagon to improve your life!
I want to be clear that both hot and cold water treatments both have a place and have been used over the centuries providing different health benefits. But on the subject of cold water therapy, how can something potentially able to freeze the blood in your veins be helpful? Its roots are in science, with every pointer indicating that taking a cold shower gives your body a shove at being more adaptable and persevering. However, there are more benefits you can accrue from taking cold showers, which this article discusses.
In this article you will find answers to:
- Can cold showers have any negative effects?
- What are 10 benefits to cold showers?
- How to get started with cold showers?
Before we get into the health benefits of cold showers, let’s crack into the myth busters and answer…
Can cold showers have any negative effects?
If you have any known or potential heart conditions you should consult a medical professional first. The reason is that cold showers elevate your blood pressure as it initially shocks the body which can be dangerous for those with heart related issues. If you are a healthy person than there is no known negative effects apart from the chilly rush of stepping into cold water. When you are ready but unsure of just leaping in than follow our guide to getting started with cold showers.
What Are The Benefits Of Cold Showers
There are more than 10 benefits of cold water showers. The benefits of cold showers for women and benefits of cold showers for men help in everyday life both home and work environments. You will find such leaders like Wim Hoff and Tony Robbins who both promote cold and ice theraphies to improve your bodies health.
1. Helps Reduce Depression
You’re more likely to stay depressed on a habitual daily hot shower than in a cold shower. That’s according to a study conducted in 2008 that asserted that 5-minute cold showers could invigorate endorphin production when taken two to three times a week. Cold showers offer electroshock therapy effects which help with depression and mental health.
2. Improves Blood Circulation
The blood in your veins will get a bit of a push to work harder from your cores adjustment to protect your organs when taking a cold shower. Cold water gives your core body temperature a run for its money, mostly invigorating body processes to work twice as hard to raise the temperature. That therefore helps improves your blood circulation way better. (1)
3. Helps Your Body Fight Common Illnesses
Your body is more prone to illnesses, but antibiotics and other medications sometimes don’t measure up. Cold showers make the body more resistant to diseases, making this preventative care measure more effective. Cold water induces mild shock that activates your leucocytes, improving your body resistance.
4. Improves Your Body Metabolism
Overall, cold showers help improve your body metabolism when you take them 2 to three times every week. And although no conclusive research that directly documents that extrapolation from other impacts water has on brown fat formation validates this claim. What’s for sure is that cold showers passively contribute to improved body metabolism, which helps with weight loss.
5. Improves Concentration
My personal experience is that after having a cold shower i have a highened awareness and more clarity. This gives me the opportunity to have more concentration on any given thing i focus on. This could be the effect of increased alertness and reduction in Cortisol already mentioned. But definately a benefit not-the-less.
6. Healthier Skin & Hair
Results through research have shown that cold water positively effects your skin and hair. Cold water doesnt dry out the sebum layer ( a natural oil to protect your skin and hair ) giving you overall long term benefits. As the skin reacts to the cold water it tightens and minimises blood flow allowing the sebum layer to stay which gives the glowing effect to your skin.
7. Extra Boost Of Energy
Not only will taking the cold wake you up, jumping in the cold shower will also give you an amazing boost of energy. The shock ( similar to light eletric shock theraphy ) your giving your body will increase your breathing rate, heart rate and overall alertness. This will give you a burst of adrenaline to kick start your day off, minimising fatigue.
8. Lowers Your Cortisol
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Introducing cold water theraphy frequently will help keep Cortisol down. When you lower the Cortisol in your blood it helps give you more clarity and increases your odds at making smarter decisions when the risk intensifies. Furthermore you will help control fatigue, weight-gain, mood-swing and mental fogginess to name a few. (1)
9. Reduces Pain and Increases Recovery
Used in the sports industry for as long as records exist, Cold water immersion therapy with the likes of ice packs and cold water baths help dramatically reduce pain and inflamation initially and helps for a speedy recovery. This is due to the increase blood flow .
10. Boosts Weight Loss Efforts
It’s not your saviour to weight loss alone, but taking a chilly dip 2-3 times a week helps burn brown fat ( yes you have white and brown fat ) and this will help boost your weight loss journey. Along with a healthy suitable diet and correct frequent exercise might be your recipe to successfully losing weight and keeping it off.
Other health benefits include remove toxins from the body, better sleep, minimising the intake of chemicals from hot showers and improves fertility with boosting sperm count due to the cooling of testicles in the cold. Though i am yet to find reliable sources to confirm these.
How to get started with cold showers?
So you still want to take a dip? Firstly i want you to know this is more a mind game than it is your body not liking the cold water. Don’t you remember being a kid and jumping into the cold pool or ocean… It was cold but you didn’t care. You should go back to those moments and realise that cold water won’t hurt you, moreso as you see above it will improve your life in numerous ways. Also when you get started you will get more benefits of cold showers in the morning. You don’t want to be kept alert or have a burst of enrgy at late hours of the night. Keep hot showers to night time and cold showers to the morning.
Now i got started with cold water showers gradually and if like me and you aren’t game enough to just jump in than this may be for you. I broke my graduality down over a few weeks, 4 to be exact. Over this time week by week i did 2 things while showering, i slowly reduced the temperture of the water and than i started reducing my time in the hot water and increasing my time in the cold water. The average shower time was 6 mintues although i didnt time the hot water time just the cold water. And it looked something like this:
- Week 1: 5 minutes hot water than reduce temp to just below bareable temperture ( i felt like freezing my ass off ) for 30 seconds. Slowly increasing the cold water time and reducing temperture over the week
- Week 2: 3 minutes of hot water than cold water 5 minutes cold water still progressing to reduce temperture
- Week 3: 2 minutes of luke warm water, than reducing the warm water to being completely off over a quick 30 seconds followed with another 2-3 minutes pure cold water
- Week 4: 1 minute luke warm water, than reducing the warm water to being completely off over a quick 30 seconds followed with 5+ minutes completely cold
What i learned is after the initial 30seconds, the adjustment period, its more the BS in your head that will keep you going or caving in. But also i could not last a full 5+ minutes until week 4, this is purely a mental thing. Some other factors that may of contributed to this was walking 5+days per week prior to jumping in the shower. In the inital month and for over 6 months i was doing this 5 days per week.
Lastly, this is not a 1 stop fixes all, it’s just another step toward making healthy choices. This alone is a great start but if your living an unhealthy lifestyle with bad dieting habits you need to review more than just having a cold water shower.