On one of my favorite fitness podcasts, the host has been talking about all of the benefits of cold showers lately. Why? I’m not sure, but it caught my attention. It made me think, and I’ve been trying to turn the temperature down a little. Granted, I have heard about people using cold temperatures in general to burn more calories and lose weight through the shiver effect. But it’s a hard thing to get used to. Still, considering all of the benefits I’ve heard of, it seems to be worth a try. Personally, I never found the idea of a cold shower in the winter appealing, but what do you do. These are just a few of the benefits that have come up.
- Metabolism, Metabolism, Metabolism – The shiver effect we’ve all heard of does take effect. When you’re cold, blood gets flowing, and you shiver in order to get warmer. You end up burning more calories, and your metabolism gets a little boost. Your body produces more brown fats. which burn more fat. Who would’ve known?
- Increased Hormone Production – If you want to have a kid, it doesn’t hurt to take a cold shower. You may need hormone therapy, and you may need to take more extreme measures of course. The truth is that a cold shower can provide you with a small boost in testosterone levels for increased fertility. On the other hand, a hot bath can actually decrease sperm count. There is only so much that it can do of course, but with fertility, if you’re having trouble, every little bit counts.
- Relieving Depression – Cold showers can actually lift your mood and relieve mild depression. When you’re sitting under cold water, it sends impulses from your brain’s nerve endings, and it can be somewhat similar to antidepressants. It can calm your nerves, leading to very positive effects.
- Healthy Skin & Hair – If you want healthy hair, there are plenty of people who talk about not using blow dryers, straight irons, curling irons, etc. I had a friend whose mom was an absolute Nazi about it. She uses them now, in part I think because her mom wouldn’t let her for all of those years. Hot showers can have somewhat of the same effect. The only difference is nobody really knows it. Yes, hot protein treatments can be healthy, but when you have a cold shower, it is healthier for your hair, and it doesn’t dry out your skin like a hot shower can. You can of course take a mostly hot shower. Just try warm more than hot, and try closing it out with a bit of cold. According to many who have tried it, you can really see the difference.
- Increasing your energy levels – If you haven’t noticed, a little cold can really snap you awake. The energy could last a little longer than that though. When it comes right down to it, it can help to reduce the amount of caffeine for some people while stimulating energy, increasing your heart rate, and leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to go.
- Sleep Better – When I exercise regularly, I actually sleep better. The same goes for cold showers for some people. Cold showers provide energy in the morning, and they can be calming for your body as well. Yes, it’s shocking to your body at first, but then your body can calm down and help you to sleep better.
- Better Stress Tolerance – You wouldn’t think it, but taking a cold shower now and again can actually help you to better tolerate stress. You could build up your immune function, which would also equal out to not getting sick as often. Finally, it can actually reduce inflammation and chronic pain.
Personally, I don’t really think of cold showers as being particularly pleasant, but you get used to it. Of course, it’s always going to be a little shocking to the body when you step in, but you will acclimate and it can be extremely healthy in various ways. At the very least, for many of us, it’s worth a try.