People have always considered hot baths as one of life’s great pleasures. Many people reward themselves with a hot shower after a long and tiring day at work, and some would just spend time soaking in warm whirlpool bathtubs, more commonly known as Jacuzzis, for rest and relaxation. Meanwhile, cold showers have always been considered a burden, a discomfort, and sometimes even a torture of some kind.
Many people believe that bath times are supposed to be slow, peaceful, and calming as in a hot shower; not quick, uncomfortable, and unbearable, as in a cold one. This is not to mention how from childhood, our folks taught us not to take cold showers, especially at night to avoid catching colds and getting sick. The bad reputation cold shower has is not a recent occurrence. It has been there for so long, and it is only about time we bust that myth.
Contrary to popular belief, a cold shower is not harmful and is in fact very beneficial. Not only does it have a wide variety of health benefits, it is also environment-friendly. Since a cold shower does not necessitate electricity for heating, it helps in energy conservation, and because bathing with cold water is not exactly relaxing, people are encouraged, if not forced, to take a quick shower, thereby helping in the conservation of water. Cold showers protect and please Mother Nature.
The Health Benefits Of Taking A Cold Shower
The health benefits of taking a cold shower may not be well known to the public, but it is not a recent discovery. While many people still loathe having to take a shower with freezing water, a lot of others have already realized the potentials of a cold shower, even considering it as a kind of therapy. Many claim that the only reason cold water was not a part of their previous shower routine is that they did not know it could do such wonders to the body.
Getting down to business, the health benefits of taking a cold shower cover a wide variety of concerns including physical and mental or psychological. The main factor here is low temperature and how the body responds to it in order to maintain homeostasis and ensure proper functioning of the body systems.
Stronger immune system
When the outside environment of the body is hot, the blood goes to the skin to prevent the organs from acquiring so much heat; on the other hand, when the outside environment is cold, the blood goes to the organs as a way of the body’s mechanism to keep the organs warm and viable. Therefore, cold showers help in the regulation of blood circulation. It can also stimulate the immune system using the heat generated from the body’s activities, creating more white blood cells and developing stronger immunity to toxins.
Increased hormone production and better breathing
Increased hormone production and better breathing are also health benefits of taking a cold shower. Studies have shown that spending more than half an hour in a room hotter than 102 degrees Fahrenheit may lower sperm count and quality while consistently taking cold baths may cause an increase in testosterone levels in men.
Improved health and appearance of the hair and skin
As for the physical health benefits of taking a cold shower, it has been proven that cold water showers help improve the health and appearance of the hair and skin. It gives the hair extraordinary shine and smoothness, and lowers the risk of baldness by keeping the hair cells active. The skin, on the other hand, is rid of dead skin cells with the help of cold water, giving the skin a fresh feel and a glowing look. This is in contrast to hot water baths that cause the hair and skin to dry after being washed.
Other health benefits of taking a cold shower are for the mental aspect. Cold water has been proven to improve the mood of a person and is now being studied as a possible cure for depression and chronic fatigue.
Now one might ask: how about taking a cold shower at night when it is already so chilly, or during winter when it is literally freezing outside? Interestingly, there are also health benefits of taking a cold shower on both of these frosty situations.
Taking one before going to bed has been proven to help a person get a good night’s sleep as well as fight insomnia. The refreshing after-feeling of the cold water has been believed to cause the deep relaxation, helping a person get high quality sleep.
Gold shower boosts metabolism
Moreover, although maybe odd sounding, cold showers are actually excellent for the winter season. It boosts metabolism when the digestive system is weakened by the cold environment and the body’s constant struggle to keep itself warm. At the same time, the active metabolism is able to help a person maintain if not lose weight in the process. However, constant low temperatures increase the risk of getting colds and flu, so the cold showers must be lessened accordingly. Instead of taking a full shower using cold water, one might opt to use lukewarm water simultaneously with cold water.
Some may raise a concern about cold showers bringing discomfort. Of course, comfort is relative. Following the principles of ecology, people who live in already cold places may feel highly uncomfortable with taking a cold shower when those who live in tropical areas would not really mind taking an ice-cold shower.
Anyway, whatever the case may be, the point is, there is a considerable number of health benefits of taking a cold shower, and the temporary discomfort is totally worth it.