Cold Shower: Taking shower during the winters is one thing that most people hate. Although most people take hot showers because people have Geysers and water heating systems in their home nowadays but if you don’t have these facilities then you may want to stay away from the showers until it is warm enough. Taking a cold shower during summer season may be a pleasing experience but a cold shower in winter may not be so pleasing. If you try to find out the number of people taking cold showers then the number is likely to go down in colder climates and places. But it is important to note that cold showers have great health benefits which have been noted since ancient periods. You may have noted your grandparents say things about how cold showers are necessary for a good health. According to various scientific researchers, cold showers are said to be very beneficial for good health and well being. Cold showers have been regarded important in many cultures, history and countries around the world. In the 1920’s a farmer named Vincenz Priessnitz had developed and sold a procedure named hydrotherapy in which cold water was reportedly used to provide treatment for many ailments and illnesses. As time passed and late into the 20th century the concept of Hydrotherapy lost its popularity because of development in medical technology. Different medicines were available for the treatment of different diseases. People also disliked the concept of taking a cold shower when they got options of taking a warm shower during cold seasons. Still, it is noteworthy that the practice of Hydrotherapy is still popular among many people. It hasn’t totally lost it essence.
Health Benefits of Cold Shower
There are many proven reasons because of which hydrotherapy or cold shower is known to be beneficial to us.
Makes the immune system strong
At times, cold showers are also taken as a preventive treatment method for problems like infections, flu and cold. Many researches were conducted among young athletic men dipping them in cold water sometimes a week to see the results. The result was that there was a rise in the white blood cells count including monocytes and lymphocytes. Some lymphocytes help in fighting the bacteria and virus. Similarly, monocytes eliminate the pathogens indirectly. It is believed that the body activates its metabolic system to warm the body and in such condition, the immune system is activated by producing white blood cells. If a person takes cold showers on a regular basis then the person has fewer chances of developing any kind of illness, flu or even Cancer. Here are some reasons why a cold shower is beneficial for the wellbeing of an individual.
Improvement in Blood circulation
A regular cold shower is beneficial to maintain the blood circulation and cardiovascular health. Taking both cold shower and hot shower is a good way to improve the blood circulation in the body. While taking a cold shower the arteries and veins will tighten because of which blood will flow at higher pressure and then when a hot shower is taken, opposite effect takes place. It is a natural process of the body that when the body feels too cold then the blood flow to the vital organs increases rapidly. This process helps to improve blood circulation. This process prevents any chances of blockages in the arteries or hypertension.
Makes our willpower strong
Taking a regular cold shower every day requires a lot of motivations and determination. Hence it is proven that anyone who wakes up early in the morning to take a cold shower builds up a strong willpower. This is why monks and people in ancient times used to take a cold shower early in the morning. Regularly doing what is challenging helps to develop a strong willpower which turns out to be a habit when practised regularly.
Reduces stress and develops emotional strength
Cold showers are useful in decreasing the level of Uric acid and increase the levels of Glutathione. As a result, it will help to manage stress in the person. Cold showers are reported to form oxidative stress on our body because of which we can be cool and calm. It may not be so easy for the first time but as time moves on, it only gets easier.
Increase alertness and makes hair healthier
A cold shower early in the morning doesn’t feel too pleasing at the beginning. It will increase the breathing and heart rate also goes up. Because of this reaction in the morning, the body feels rejuvenated for the whole day. It will make us alert. Not only that, a cold shower preserves our body oil so it helps to maintain healthy hair and skin. The hair follicles will be flatter and it will retain a grip on the head so a cold shower is also beneficial for a healthy hair and skin.
Helps in losing weight
No one wants to be overweight so weight loss is another area in which cold shower can be helpful. There is two type of fat in our body which is white and brown fat. Brown fat is required to maintain body heat but white fat is harmful. A cold shower helps to activate brown fat as a result of which energy is consumed and calories are burned. Many researches have proven that Cold showers are much helpful in losing fat.
Increase in Testosterone and fertility
Temperatures have an obvious effect on the male reproductive system too. A cold shower is beneficial to increase the testosterone levels. Studies have proven that Cold shower helps to increase in sperm count. Men who took a regular hot shower for a longer period experienced infertility for some period of time. A hot shower may not have a totally negative effect on the sperm count but it definitely has some effect. So it is better to take a cold shower regularly to have a strong fertility system. Cold shower has the capacity to boost up the hormone level by activating the glands in the body. It is also said that cold shower helps to keep the endocrine and thyroid gland healthy and in normal working condition.
Works as Anti Depressants
It is known that cold showers work as antidepressants too as it activates the blue spots which are the primary spot in the brain for noradrenaline. Noradrenalin helps to get rid of depression. And the kind of shock feeling one gets when the body gets into contact with cold water will send electrical impulses to the brain from different nerves. This will result in an antidepressant effect.
Helpful in clearing the Lymphatic system
Lymphatic system works to clear out wastages from the cells which are necessary to make the immune system strong. Blockages in the Lymphatic system cause problems like infections, joint pain and a common cold. When we alternate between a hot shower and a cold shower then the lymph vessels are contracted by cold water and it expands by hot water. Because of this procedure, if there are any blockages in the lymph system then they are pumped out which results in a stronger immune system.
Helpful to recover muscles
Cold water shower is even more beneficial for the recovery of muscles. Especially athletes can try a cold ice water shower after a staff training session and they will know the instant benefit of a cold shower because the cold water helps the muscles to recover quicker. A cold water shower helps to get rid of lactic acid formed in the muscles and it also helps the muscles to relax by improving the circulation. It will give better results if you repeat between a hot shower and a cold shower. The body muscles will feel great.
Helps to get to sleep
As mentioned earlier, a Cold shower is helpful to make a person alert and awake but a cold shower is beneficial also to get a good sleep. It has been reported to give amazing relaxing benefits to the body and mind because of which a person can get a good quality sleep after a cold shower. When the mind and body get relaxed, it is easier to get a quality sleep.
Boosts up the energy level
Overall energy level gets an intense boost with a regular cold shower. Even if you relax with a hot shower, but ending your bath with a cold shower is very beneficial. It also has benefits for mental wellbeing apart from physical health. People say that in an old cultural practice called Misogi, the Japanese Samurai warriors used to pour buckets of Ice cold water on themselves every morning. It was believed that this practice cleansed them spiritually and they could start a good day with this practice. A cold shower definitely leaves the body and mind energized as there is an outburst of energy as you pour cold water onto the body.
How to do it?
It may be difficult to come out of your regular comfort zone to take a decision regarding a cold shower every morning. But to gain anything in life, it is very important to gather the courage and step out of the comfort zone. Yes, a warm shower is much easier decision to take but a cold shower has all the benefits for mental and physical health. To make things easier, it is not necessary that you take the whole shower a cold one. If you prefer you can begin and enjoy a hot shower but you must end with a cold shower. The last 2-3 minutes of the shower should be a cold one. So, make a decision and take the choice of a lifestyle where you live by your decisions out of your comfort zone. Make a start with an everyday cold shower. Maintain self-discipline and it will certainly guide you to good results. A regular cold shower is certain to give you a youthful burst of energy required for successful life but it is up to you when to take the first step.