12 January 2021

The Health Benefits of Cold Showers

For most people, the idea of a cold shower goes hand in hand with having cold feet. Yet a cold shower has surprisingly many mental and physical benefits that most people never bother to find out.

Of course, if you are reading this, you are not most people. Let’s have a look at those benefits, how long the shower should take, and whether there are any limits or risks.

The Main Benefits of Cold Shower

1. Strengthens Your Immunity

Research shows that white blood cells are released in response to an increased metabolic rate as your body tries to warm itself up during cold showers. This strengthens your immunity against common illnesses such as colds and flu.

2. Improved Circulation

As the body tries to raise its core temperature when taking a cold shower, warmer and freshly oxygenated blood is delivered at a faster rate. This is a trick that athletes have long used to speed up recovery – it is the same reason for using an ice pack to reduce inflammation when we bruise ourselves. It is even thought to result in healthier-looking skin.

3. Increases Alertness

Cold showers stimulate deeper heartrates that result in more efficient oxygen intake and elimination of CO2. Besides, bathing in cold water wakes you up and keeps you ready and focused to take on the day.

4. Reduced Stress and Depression

The cold imposes a little stress on your body. The cold not only hardens you but also lowers uric acid levels while boosting glutathione – reducing your stress in general.

Multiple studies have linked cold showers to decreased depression. They point to a large amount of electrical signals being sent from nerve endings on the skin to the brain and stimulating the release of noradrenaline – a chemical thought to help curb depression.

5. Improves Male Fertility

Evidence suggests men become less fertile when exposed to high water temperatures such as hot showers, baths, and Jacuzzis. If you want to be a dad, consider cold water in the shower.

6. Boosts Energy and Well-being

A cold shower will always leave you buzzing because it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system – the part responsible for fight-or-flight responses. Some people report that this energy bust lasts several hours.

How Long Should You Take a Cold Shower?

It depends on how comfortable you are with a cold shower. We typically take 5-10 minutes showering hence your cold shower can last just as long.

However, if you are new to it, you may want to consider easing into the habit. Lower the heat at the end of your shower session. Get the temperature to go down until you feel uncomfortable and stay underneath for about 2 to 3 minutes. A great trick to help reduce discomfort or at least distract your mind is breathing deeply.

Are There Any Risks and Limits to a Cold Shower?

Firstly, a cold shower is no prescription for any medical condition and should never be used to replace your doctor’s treatments.

You might also want to avoid this if you are asthmatic or have hypertension. This is because your blood pressure may rise during a cold shower.

Summary

Taking a cold shower regularly may help you develop strong willpower, resistance against common illnesses, boost male fertility, improve alertness, reduce stress and depression, improve circulation and recovery time, and promote healthy skin. However, it is not recommended as a replacement for traditional treatment for medical conditions.

Photo by Sasin Tipchai on Pixabay

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