At the end of each day, we all look forward to a nice warm (or hot) shower to take the day off and get down to the business of relaxing. Cold showers, on the other hand, seem to be reserved for post-workout cooldowns and hot and sticky summer days as means to beat the heat. But while most of us may not relish the idea of standing under a cold shower, the benefits of turning the water temperature down may go far beyond a quick refresh. Below we share four interesting reasons you may want to add cold showers to your daily routine.
Reduces Stress Levels
If you find your mind persistently racing with worrisome thoughts, be it bills, work, or family matters, a cold shower could be an easy and holistic way to put your mind at ease.
Interestingly, a growing body of research supports the theory that cold water therapy is beneficial to your mental health. In fact, cold showers have been shown to help reduce stress levels, lower anxiety, and relieve symptoms of depression.
Improves Focus And Productivity
If you’ve ever jumped into a cold pool, you know that with a quick hit of cold water, the shock to your system leaves you feeling instantly alert and awake.
Additionally, you know that once immersed in cold water, you’re likely taking deeper breaths. And it’s not secret that pushing out more CO2, and taking in more oxygen (aka deep breathing) helps with focus and concentration.
The bottom line: Starting the day off with a cold shower might be infinitely helpful if you’re finally ready to knock out that to-do list or if expecting a particularly rough day at the office.
Boosts Your Body’s Immune Response
If you’re feeling a little run down or looking for a way to launch a preemptive strike on seasonal colds or the flu, a cold shower might just be the ticket. Research has shown that cold showers can boost your immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells, and, of course, we know that white blood cells (or leukocytes) are our body’s first line of defense against illness and disease.
How does it work? It’s believed that the cold water temperatures trigger your body to warm itself. That, in turn, boosts your metabolism and prompts your body to produce more white blood cells keeping the sniffles at bay.
Promotes Weight Loss
Trying to shed a few pounds? Looks like cold showers can help with that too. Studies have shown that intermittent exposure to cold temperatures — a la cold showers — can stimulate the generation of brown fat. Unlike white fat, brown fat is the good fat that our bodies use to keep warm. Moreover, brown fat generates energy by — you guessed it, burning calories. So, if you’re looking to get past your weight loss plateau or lose that last five pounds, try a cold shower.
Undoubtedly, warm showers are infinitely soothing, but it’s clear that cold showers can also be quite beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. If you’re thinking about giving it a go, it may be best to start slowly. Start by ending your showers with a cool rinse-off, and gradually increase your time spent under the cool water. As the days go by, continue to lower the water temperature and increase your time spent there. Within a few weeks, you might find that you’re hyperfocused and anxiety-free.