Some people can’t go about their day without taking a cold shower first thing in the morning. For many of the rest of us, the thought of entering a stream of chilly water sounds painful and torturous, and it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to start their day that way. However, it turns out these people might be onto something.
Taking cold showers can have a number of health benefits, ranging from improved physical health to a greater feeling of energy and focus. As miserable as it may sound, a cold shower might be the answer to some of your health problems, and the best part is it’s free and doesn’t come with any side effects.
If you need some more convincing, here are six health benefits of taking a cold shower.
1. Increased Energy
If that morning coffee isn’t doing it for you, try a morning shower. Cold showers slightly shock your body, increasing your heart rate, which gets more blood pumping through your system. This gives you a natural dose of energy, which can help improve your productivity.
2. Improved Immunity
A study from Britain’s Thrombosis Research Institute found that after a cold shower, your metabolic rate speeds up and activates the immune system, where more white blood cells are released.
3. Healthier Skin And Hair
Hot showers might feel nice, but they dry out your skin and hair. Cold water, on the other hand, tightens your cuticles and pores, which can improve your appearance. Showering in cold water may help your skin look smoother, and your help your hair be more shiny and healthy.
4. Better Weight Loss
Research from the Journal of Applied Physiology found that bathing in cool water boosts fat burning and encourages using stored carbohydrates for excess energy. Additionally, cold showers cause hormonal changes that trigger the production of brown fat, which unlike white fat, is more common in lean people and actively burns calories to produce heat.
5. Soothed Muscles
Taking a cold shower can help relieve muscle soreness from exercise. Studies show that cold water baths taken not long after exercise can relieve delayed-onset muscle soreness that happens one or two days after a hard workout.
6. Improved Mood
Cold hydrotherapy has been shown to reduce stress, balance out levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, and even fight anxiety and depression. Cold water can help soothe the sympathetic nervous system, which results in a therapeutic effect.