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The benefits of cold showers and why you should try them

Posted by Josh Atwell on


It may seem like a simple thing but a slight change in your morning routine could have profound advantages, lasting long into your day. That is switching to cold showers. Today we’ll examine the possible benefits of making the switch to cold showers. You might have experienced these by mistake; someone flushes the toilet while your mid-shower, the hot water runs outs, etc. although it may be uncomfortable at first cold showers could help with many common issues and problems.

The benefits

Increased alertness

Having a cold shower first thing in the morning, and feeling cold water pour down over our body may seem more horrifying than soothing. However, this produces a deep breathing response from the body, oxygenating the blood and muscles. Thus, our heart rate will also increase, freeing a flash of blood through our entire body. This gives us an all-natural dose of vigour for the rest of the day.

 

Improves Immunity and Circulation

Cold water encourages blood to the surrounding organs, which can then help combat some problems of the skin and heart. As cold water strikes the body, its ability to get the blood circulating leads the arteries to more efficiently pump blood, therefore boosting our overall heart health. It can also help lower blood pressure, and improve our immune system.

 

Speeds Up Muscle Soreness and Recovery

A quick cold shower after breaking a sweat at the gym can be useful, especially in relieving DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). A 2009 study analysing 17 trials involved over 360 people who either rested in or immersed themselves in cold water after resistance training, cycling or running. The study found that 24-minute cold water baths were effective in relieving DOMS one to four days after exercises with a water temperature of 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. However, some studies involved colder temperatures and shorter periods.

 

Cold Showers Build Strong Will Power

Cold showers develop massive will power. They may seem overly painful, or even stressful to begin with, but anything that challenges your willpower will help you grow and soon enough they will become part of your daily routine. This is why it’s a staple of motivational blogger, Victor Pride’s, 30 Days of Discipline.

 

Stimulates Weight Loss

The human body holds two types of fat tissue, white fat and brown fat. White fat is amassed when we devour more calories than our body needs to function, and we don’t burn these calories for energy. This is the fat that gathers in our problem areas, stomach, waist, thighs, etc. Brown fat is the healthy fat; it generates heat to warm our bodies. It is activated when we are exposed to extreme cold, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Thus, cold showers can stimulate brown fat.

 

A 2009 study showed that exposure to freezing temperatures activated brown fat in 23 and 24 participants by a 15-fold increase. This result means that someone could theoretically lose up to nine pounds in a year if they kept this practice up.

 

Cold Showers Increase Testosterone

One of the best benefits of cold showers is a boost in testosterone. It's hard to say exactly how much and put a % increase on it, however, speaking from my experience my blood showed a 5% increase during a time I had cold showers daily. Russian weightlifters also used to use cold showers before competition to boost testosterone

 

Eases Stress

Getting into cold water can help promote hardening, increasing tolerance to stress, and even sickness. A 1994 study found a radical reduction in uric acid levels during and following exposure to a cold stimulus. There was also an upsurge in glutathione, an antioxidant that keeps all other antioxidants performing at their optimal levels.

 

Relieves Depression

Cold showers have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of depression, due to the profound impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send a vast amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain, producing an antidepressive effect, and this, in turn, boosts moods. A 2008 study found that cold hydrotherapy has an analgesic effect, and does not appear to have noticeable side effects. This treatment included one to two cold showers of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, two to three minutes long, followed by a five-minute gradual adaptation to make the procedure less shocking.

 

References

 

  • Russell, Sean. "15 Benefit Of Cold Showers That Will Blow Your Mind". Menprovement. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • Borreli, Lizette. "7 Surprising Cold Shower Benefits For Your Body And Skin". Medical Daily. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • "5 Surprising Benefits Of Cold Showers". Lifehack. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.
  • "This Guy Took Freezing Cold Showers Every Day For A Week. Here’S What Happened". Men's Health. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

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