Mar 04, 2021, News

Cold water therapy: The power of the cold shower

Do you rely on a coffee to kick-start your day? Well, before you pour that second cup, perhaps you should consider taking a cold shower instead

Yes, you read that correctly. Cold showers have been believed to offer health benefits for centuries, from increasing endorphins to improving metabolism and circulation, and even helping to combat the common cold. Before giving it the cold shoulder, why not try it for yourself?

Tempted? Here are just some of the many benefits…

1.Cold showers make us more resilient to stress

If there’s one word to summarise the last 12 months, it’s ‘stress’. And with the majority of us having to juggle multiple priorities, self-care has been somewhat put on the backburner.

However, when it comes to wellbeing, it doesn’t take a spa trip to improve our mood and mind. Taking a cold shower with a temperature of 20 degrees or less is believed to allow our bodies to become more resistant to the stresses we face daily, therefore further reducing stress levels over time.

2. Cold showers increase our endorphins

Although taking the plunge into a cold shower may not sound quite as appealing as, say, eating a bar of chocolate, it too can increase our endorphins. When you venture into the water, several electrical impulses are sent to your brain, creating an electric shock-type effect in order to increase alertness, clarity and energy levels. In the process, endorphins (happiness hormones), are released which have a positive impact on our general wellbeing.

baths v showers the environmental impact

3. Cold showers help to improve metabolism

Did you know that taking a cold shower a couple of times a week can help contribute to speeding up your metabolism? This is due to ‘brown fats’, which play an important role in adult health, being activated by exposure to cold temperatures. The knock-on effect of this being a reduced risk of obesity.

4. Cold showers help to fight common illnesses

During the winter months especially, common illnesses such as colds and flu are almost unavoidable. But there are simple steps that can be taken to help defend yourself against the effects of the bugs, including cold showers.

 

By shocking our bodies with cold water, we are stimulating leukocytes which help fight infection in our bodies. So, although exposing yourself to low temperatures when you feel ill might seem counterproductive, research in the Netherlands has found it can truly have a positive impact – people who took a cold shower for at least 30 seconds for one month called in sick 29% fewer times than the control group. So, hopefully, there will be less of the Lemsip from here on out.

 

Sources:

Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/3043767/the-scientific-case-for-cold-showers

Glamour: https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/cold-shower-benefits#:~:text=Cold%20showers%20wake%20your%20body,and%20focused%20throughout%20the%20day

Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2018/03/cold-showers-lead-to-fewer-sick-days#:~:text=Dr.,engaged%20in%20regular%20physical%20exercise

Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-shower-benefits#improved-metabolism