7 Reasons why taking a cold shower is healthy
Cold showering is hot! Besides the fact that showering with (ice) cold water is eco-friendly “ugh ugh” , it also has a lot of health benefits. Cold showering is good for the immune system, blood circulation, thermoregulation, weight loss and for the skin just to name a few. In this article we give 7 reasons why cold showering is healthy!
Wim Hof also known as “The Iceman” has been doing this for a long time. He is convinced that every person can regulate their autonomic nervous system which regulates the persons temperature, breathing and heart rate. Research from the Radboud UMC showed that Wim Hof was right. The participants who had practiced with Wim Hof’s method were all able to influence their autonomic nervous system.
1. COLD SHOWERING STIMULATES THE PRODUCTION OF BROWN FAT
Our bodies are quite capable of adjusting to temperature. However, we tend not to put our inner thermometer to work. Are we cold? Then we turn up the thermostat a little. In the winter we put on a thick winter coat. With that thick coat we then get into the car and even in the car we turn up the heat.
By taking a cold shower you stimulate the production of brown fat in your body. Unlike white fat, which primarily serves as a storage area, brown fat’s main job is to produce heat.
Newborn babies, for example, have a relatively large amount of brown fat, about 5% of their body weight. This “baby fat” allows the newborn to maintain its body temperature. As we age, the amount of brown fat in our bodies decreases.
When you feel so cold that you start to shiver, it turns out that this stimulates the body to produce brown fat. The brown fat then produces the heat you need. Cold showering therefore ensures that your inner thermostat can regulate the temperature itself again. You train your body, as it were, to be able to deal with cold and heat again.
2. COLD SHOWER STRENGTHENS YOUR RESISTANCE
Short-term physiological stress and the adaptation of your body to it is called hormesis. The stimulation of the cold shower therefore has a hormetic effect. Do you want to train your body’s resistance? Then you will have to go outside your comfort zone and really turn the taps to cold.
The shock of cold water stimulates the immune system resulting in increased production of white blood cells. So you can indeed improve your resistance by challenging a cold shower.
3. COLD SHOWERING IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION
During a cold shower, your blood vessels initially constrict. This raises your blood pressure and pumps blood more forcefully through your body. To retain the heat, your heart pumps more blood to your organs. After the cold shower, your blood pressure drops again, but the effect of improved blood flow remains.
4. COLD SHOWERING GIVES YOU A GLOWING SKIN
Because muscles and blood vessels are contracted, your skin becomes smoother and tighter. Cold water also ensures that your skin will not dry out that quickly.
5. COLD SHOWERING MAKES YOU LOSE WEIGHT
It has already been shown that people lose weight when they are exposed to a cold room or bath for several hours a day over a long period of time, and this has everything to do with brown fat again. The more brown fat, the more you burn and the more pounds you lose. In addition, the improved blood circulation results in a higher metabolism.
So those who want to lose weight, in addition to adjusting their diet and exercising more, have another option: cold showering.
6. COLD SHOWERS GIVE YOU ENERGY
About 5 minutes after a cold shower, the ‘I’m alive’ feeling begins. You start breathing deeper, your heart beats faster and you feel your blood flow through your body. The improved blood flow to your brain makes you more alert. A cold shower is a real kick-starter in the early morning.
7. COLD SHOWER HAS A POSITIVE EFFECT ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Many top athletes have already had to face it. A cold ice bath after a rugby match or marathon with the aim of counteracting fatigue and boosting the recovery process.
Hydrotherapy provides relief from muscle pain. First, the blood vessels close due to the cold water, then the blood flow is increased. The waste products in the muscles are removed faster and athletes recover faster as a result.
Last good day to get a Cold Plunge that’s a significant challenge, Spring is upon us!— Jon (@JonPDiGiacomo) March 13, 2022
This will be an epic year for us Plebs. Filled with significant challenges, but we will endure and we will thrive! pic.twitter.com/j83FZsN5YQ
Taking a cold shower to the next level
Tips & Tricks
JUST DO IT!!!
Cold showering is similar to standing on the edge of the pool and doubting whether to jump in because the water is so cold. It’s easier if someone pushes you in so you’re through. Unfortunately, that’s not an option in the bathroom, so you’ll just have to do it yourself.
START WITH BODY PART BY BODY PART
If you don’t want to make a ” bomb ” in the cold shower right away, you can start with your feet, legs, hands and arms. Then you can rinse your back, stomach, chest, face and finally your head.
KEEP BREATHING CALMLY
That’s Easier said than done! The cold water will cause your breathing to speed up. This is a normal reaction. What helps is after exhaling don’t breathe in immediately. Hold your breath. When you feel you want to breathe in again do so and then hold your breath again after an exhale.
Practice makes perfect. You will find that over time you will get control of your breathing faster and faster.
Okay, it’s a bit of a shock such a cold shower on your body. But it is really better to turn the knob to the cold side at once. So do not gradually reduce from warm to lukewarm and then to cold. The unexpected cold water creates a shock effect and that is exactly what we want.