Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by admin
Whether you start your day or end it with a shower, you probably crank the water hotter than colder, right? Sure, showering in warm water might feel better, but the cold temps are healthier for you. You’d like to try showering in cold water from time to time, but do you have to do it every day? Is that too much?
Showering in cold water every day, although not necessarily easy, is advantageous. You could improve your mood, your circulation, and your immunity by making cold showers a part of your daily routine. You may even lose weight!
In today’s post, we’ll discuss more on the benefits of cold showers as well as share some tips for getting used to the freezing water temps. Whether you aspire to shower in the cold every day or a few times a week, this is one post you’re not going to want to miss!
The Benefits of Cold Showers
If you’re feeling down, the thought of taking a cold shower might sound like torture. Surprisingly, enduring the cold temps will help improve your mood. This 2016 study in PLoS One involved a group of participants who took hot showers with exposure to cold water for 30 to 90 seconds. They did this daily over the course of a month.
Among other things, the participants had a higher quality of life and better mental health.
A 2008 report from Medical Hypotheses presents similar findings. By taking adapted cold showers (slowly going from hot to cold water) every day, over several months, your depression symptoms could lessen, notes the study.
Why? The researchers believe the cold water triggers the sympathetic nervous system into boosting noradrenaline and beta-endorphins in the blood. This sends noradrenaline to your brain, which also receives more peripheral nerve ending-induced electrical impulses. Through a combination of these effects, you could feel less depressed.
Do you have acne? Maybe rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis? If so, the heat can dry your skin, roughening up your keratin cells. This exacerbates the above skin conditions.
By taking a cold shower instead, your skin will be less inflamed and itchy. You could even have an appealing glow to your skin and your hair.
Higher Sperm Count
Men, pay attention. The heat of your shower can affect sperm count. Studies have mentioned that by ceasing spending time in wet heat like the shower, a man’s sperm count could go up by as much as 491 percent. That’s a huge increase!
To get your blood pumping–literally–taking a cold shower is the way to go. The shock of the cold causes your circulation to constrict. Now your system has to work a bit harder to keep your body temperature where it should be, making your deep tissues circulate blood faster. Your entire body benefits as your circulation improves.
A 2018 article published by Harvard Business Review talks about a study done by Geert A. Buijze that involved 3,000 participants who showered in the cold for a little over a minute at most. Buijze reports that while the cold shower-takers still got sick as often as the regular shower-takers, the cold shower-takers had more energy through their illness and sometimes fewer serious symptoms too.
Buijze believes the shivering you do in cold water pushes you into fight-or-flight mode, releasing key hormones along the way. Your brown fat or brown adipose tissue, which you use for insulation, is also involved in bolstering your immunity.
Speaking of brown fat, it’s key in how you may be able to lose weight by taking cold over hot showers.
Brown fat and white fat coexist, but the latter is not nearly as healthy. White fat, also known as white adipose tissue, is body fat. The more you have, the higher your risk of obesity and thus heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.
When you take a cold shower, you trigger your brown fat into burning calories for warmth, giving your metabolism a boost. You won’t lose significant amounts of weight this way, so a cold shower should never replace a good diet and exercise plan, only augment what you’re already doing.
Should You Take a Cold Shower Every Day?
In life, there exists too much of a good thing. Take chocolate, for example. Almost everyone enjoys chocolate, but when you eat and eat and eat it, bad things happen. You could end up with a tummy ache, not to mention the exorbitant number of calories you consumed could make you gain weight.
Does the “too much of a good thing” mentality apply to cold showers too? Actually, it does not. To make the most of the above health benefits you get by turning on the cold shower knob, you can indeed shower in freezing temps every day. That’s how some of the study results were achieved.
Tips for Acclimating to Cold Showers
Here are some handy tips for acclimating to the cold water, as it definitely takes some getting used to!
Work Your Way up to Daily Cold Showers
Jumping right into taking cold showers every day is unrealistic if you’ve only ever bathed in warmer or hot temperatures before. In the beginning, showering with cold water once a week should be seen as a win. Then, as you become more used to cold showers, you can start taking them twice a week, thrice a week, all the way up to four or five times a week. By that point, showering daily in the cold should be no problem.
Use Short Cold Bursts
Remember, your cold shower doesn’t have to be the whole time you spend bathing. Several of the studies we highlighted involved the participants showering in cold temps for the last minute or two of their showers only. You can follow that same pattern or go from warm to cold, warm to cold, ending your shower with a blast of cold water.
Even for a limited period, a cold shower is going to feel uncomfortable. It’s a shock to the system, but without that shock, your body can’t activate the health benefits we’ve discussed. To keep your goals on track, distract yourself when showering in the cold. You might play your favorite music or listen to a podcast to take your mind off things.
By rotating that shower knob from hot to cold, you’re opening up a world of benefits for your body. You could reduce depression and anxiety, make your skin and hair healthier, strengthen your immunity, and even lose some weight. You’re good to shower in the cold every day if you want!