Cold showers, a form of hydrotherapy, were a recognized medical treatment until it fell out of popularity with increased access to heated water and prescription medications. There are many health benefits to cooling off your shower, and your body, will even save some money on your utility bills.
- Strengthens immunity by increasing production of white blood cells. This makes you less likely to develop colds and flus, and even some forms of cancer.
- Improves blood circulation which is vital to overall health. The alternation of hot and cold water improves circulation by constricting and dilating blood vessels. This can help prevent hypertension, hardening of the arteries, the appearance of varicose veins, and help you feel and look better.
- Regulates body temperature by thermogenesis, or production of body heat. This activates the body’s adaptive repair systems. If you have chronic cold hands and feet or think that you sweat too much, try this.
- Promotes weight loss by increasing metabolic rate. Brown fat is heavily involved in burning energy, brown fat is formed by exposure to cold. You will see more weight loss and growth and repair of muscle tissue.
- Helps alleviate depression, cold water stimulates the brains “blue spot” and stimulates production of noradrenaline, which alleviates depression.
- Improves lymphatic movement, lymph carries away waste material from cells, it relies on contraction of muscles to do this, cold showers cause whole body contractions. Lymphedema in feet and ankles is a common sign of poor circulation.
- Deepens breathing to try to combat the stress of the shock, vasoconstriction, and need for oxygen to keep warm. It also helps to prevent feelings of fatigue and has been proven to help with COPD.
- Keeps skin and hair healthy, hot water dries out your skin, cold water tightens cuticles and pores to make hair shinier and improve the appearance of skin. This is also beneficial to prevent blemishes such as acne and helps your body with detoxification.
- Increases energy and sense of well-being. Ancient samurai warriors poured buckets of cold water over their heads every morning, this is called Shinto in the practice of Misogi, this was believed the cleanse the spirit each day to ready yourself for the new one.
- Increases hormone production which can be very helpful when you are trying to conceive.
It is not recommended to make a sudden change, anything drastic can produce too much stress on your body. You can start by adjusting your water temperature from comfortably warm, warm, tepid, cool, then cold. You can also turn the water cold for your last 30 seconds in the shower and work your way longer. You’re going to shower anyway, may as well enjoy it and have it work for your body.