What could be more refreshing than taking a cold shower right after working out or on a hot summer day? According to researchers, cold showers are not just relaxing, but healthy too. This habit boosts your immune system, increases metabolism, and supports detoxification. It also helps relieve chronic pain, arthritis, and muscle soreness.
Brief History of Cold Showers
Turning the water temperature down to freezing cold can improve your health and vitality. Athletes have long been using cold water as therapy for sore muscles, fatigue, and even injuries. In ancient times, the Spartans only used cold water because they believed that hot water was for the weak. The Ancient Greeks continued bathing in cold water after building heating systems. This habit was also popular among Russians, Native Americans, and Finish people.
Hydrotherapy, a treatment based on cold water, was developed in Germany around 1820. Therapists recommended it for infertility, erectile dysfunction, broken bones, low energy, and other health conditions. The first hydrotherapy center opened in the United States in 1843. Today, these facilities are widely spread and can be found in most spas and clinics.
A Shot of Cold Water for Better Health
Chilly water benefits both your mind and body. Ice baths and cold showers increase endorphin production, lifting your mood. They also constrict blood vessels, which helps prevent swelling and bruising from injury. A clinical trial conducted on 360 people has found that those who took cold baths reported a decrease in muscle soreness after exercise. Experts claim that cold water drives nutrients and oxygen to internal organs, relieves pain, and helps flush out toxins.
Cold showers can boost your energy and stamina first thing in the morning. Chilly water increases your heart rate, getting more blood pumped through your body. Studies have found that exposure to cold temperatures in water elevate metabolism and promote fat loss. It appears that cold showers support the production of brown fat, leading to a higher energy expenditure. Brown fat is good fat.
If you’re tired or fatigued, take a cold shower. This habit increases alertness and mental focus, improves blood flow, and gives your immune system a boost. A study conducted in 1999 has found that exposure to cold water acts as a form of oxidative stress on the nervous system. As your body adapts to this, it becomes more effective at handling oxidative and environmental stress. Additionally, cold showers raise glutathione levels in the blood while reducing uric acid levels, which further helps relieve stress.
Cold showers are also effective against depression, dull skin, and male infertility. They can improve your complexion, strengthen your hair, and reduce inflammation. Taking a cold shower is one of the best ways to relieve DOMS (delayed onset muscular soreness) and recover faster from exercise. Researchers recommend “cooler” showers (68 degrees) for up to three minutes once or twice a day to reduce depression symptoms. Cold baths are even more beneficial for overall health. You can also alternate between hot and cold water to stimulate circulation and get energized. Try adding cold showers to your morning routine for improved long term health.