Are Cold Showers Actually Good For You?
You may always dread the times when your shower runs out of hot water, but what if I told you that that may not be such a bad thing? Research has shown that cold showers, however unlikeable they may be, can actually have several benefits to your health.
Cold showers are a way to practice something called cryotherapy, or sometimes better known as cold therapy. Cold therapy uses cold temperatures to cool body tissues. There are a surprising amount of benefits cold showers give you, such as heightening your immune system. The shock your body goes through when coming into contact with cold water stimulates blood cells to fight off any viruses. In fact, a study conducted in the Netherlands showed that 29% less people called out sick from work when they had taken cold showers for 90 days, as opposed to those who didn’t.
Cold showers also improve circulation; the shock of the cold water puts your body into “survival mode”, straining itself to keep its core temperature stable. The blood moving through you at a much faster rate increases the efficiency of your circulatory system, speeding up muscle recovery and lowering blood pressure. In addition to improving circulation, cold showers also boost your metabolism! Thanks to the cold, your body expends more energy keeping itself warm, so you end up burning more calories. For example, adipose tissue, also known as brown fat, is a type of fat your body stores for when it needs energy to keep you warm. This is the fat that gets burned when you shiver. So, by using cold showers, you are healthily burning excess fat!
Above is an image showing fat being burned in the body under cold temperatures compared to warm conditions. The dark areas represent fat being burned.
Now, you might be wondering what I mean by a cold shower. How cold should it be? How long should I shower for? It is recommended that you keep the water under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15 degrees Celsius, for no more than five minutes. Remember, the choice is always yours, but you might want to give cold showers a try someday!