A cold shower is a lot of things, but appealing it is not. A cold shower is classified as any shower with water below 21°C, with other sources putting it at anywhere from 15°C and lower to begin enjoying the benefits of cold showers. Here are some physical and mental health benefits of taking a cold shower.
Depression is treated in different ways including drugs and holistic methods. One popular holistic method is hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the management of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints.
One clinical trial found that taking a cold shower for up to 5 minutes two to three times per week helps relieve symptoms of depression. This is because, for people with depression, cold showers can work as a kind of gentle electroshock therapy. The cold water jolts the system and sends electrical impulses to the brain. The jolt increases alertness, clarity, and energy levels and releases endorphins to boot. Endorphins are commonly known as happiness hormones. Their release leads to improved feelings of well-being and optimism.
The jolt from a cold shower shocks the body putting the circulatory system into overdrive. The sudden drop in body temperature stimulates blood flow. The body increases blood flow to warm your core and protect your vital organs.
Skin and hair
A cold shower is beneficial for the skin in multiple ways. It locks in the essential oils your skin needs to maintain healthy barrier function and the improved circulation also improves the skin. It also helps lock in essential moisture on both your skin and hair, preventing breakages and improving shine.
Taking a cold shower two to three times a week can lead to increased metabolism and can help with weight loss, especially for people with obesity. Research is still not clear about how it does that but there is evidence that it works. One idea is that the body’s heightened reaction to the cold water temporarily ratchets up your metabolism. Cold showers also even out certain hormone levels and help heal the gastrointestinal walls. It’s important to note though that cold showers for weight loss have to be accompanied by other lifestyle changes as well.
The human body is designed to become resistant to elements we are exposed to. Research shows that winter swimmers are more resistant to certain illnesses and infections, experiencing them less frequently and more mildly compared to the rest of the population. Cold water swimmers in particular have fewer upper respiratory tract infections and scientists think it may be linked to the cold water.
One clinical study in the Netherlands found that cold showers led to a 29% reduction in people calling off sick from work. Another study even connected cold showers to improved cancer survival.
These are impressive benefits, however, it’s important to note that it is not recommended for people with heart disease. A cold shower may tax your heart in a way that could be dangerous. For everyone else, resist the impulse to overly tax your body by showering with frigid water especially if you’re new to showering with cold water.
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