Do you crave a warm shower each day to help you relax? The truth is, most of us think the health benefits of showering come from a warm shower, when turning the temperature down is actually highly therapeutic. Although it may not seem appealing at first, swapping out a few warm showers a week with cool ones could be just what you need to look and feel your best.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of taking a cool shower daily.
Cool Showers Supercharge Fat Loss
Turning the temperature down on your shower can cause brown fat to kick into gear, turning up the heat in the body. White fat is associated with conditions such as obesity and heart disease, while brown fat plays a very important role in health. Healthy levels of brown fat indicate that white fat is also at a healthy level. It appears as though taking a cold shower two to three times a week can help increase metabolism and fight obesity over time.
Cool Showers Promote Healthy Circulation
Healthy circulation is important for better overall cardiovascular health. Taking a cool shower helps optimize blood flow and improves circulation throughout the body. According to leading health expert, Dr. Joseph Mercola, a cool shower can lower blood pressure and even clear blocked arteries.
Cool Showers Improve Immunity
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the colder the shower, the better it is for your immune system. One study found that taking regular cold showers increases the metabolic speed, and the number of white blood cells in the body used to fight diseases.
One study even found that taking a cold shower could cause the body to be more resistant to certain types of cancer. In the Netherlands, it was discovered that people who took cold showers took less time off of work for sickness.
Cool Showers Drain the Lymphatic System
Cool showers encourage the lymphatic system to carry waste from cells, which reduces the risk of infections.
Cool Showers Lower Stress
If you are having a particularly stressful day, taking a cool shower is a great way to recenter and calm down. Taking a cooler shower helps to reduce levels of uric acid in the body and increase glutathione, which in turn helps to reduce stress levels. In addition, one study found that taking cold shower conditions the nervous system to be more resilient to stress.
Cool Showers Speed Up Recovery After Exercise
You may have seen athletes take ice baths after a high-intensity training session. A quick and cold shower can easily do the same thing. One study that analyzed 17 trials with 360 people who rested or immersed themselves in cold water after resistance training, cycling, or running found that those who used the cold water therapy had less soreness one to four days after exercising compared to those who just rested.
Cool Showers Help Your Skin and Hair Look Great
Hot water dries out skin and hair while cool water tightens cuticles and pores which prevents them from getting clogged. Cold water seals the pores on the scalp as well, which helps prevent dirt from getting in. According to dermatologist Jessica Krant, ice cold or lukewarm water helps maintain a good balance of healthy oils and causes the hair to appear shinier, stronger and healthier by flattening hair follicles and improving their ability to grip the scalp.
Cool Showers Relieve Depression
Cool showers have the ability to relieve the symptoms of depression. Cold receptors, located on the skin, send electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This has a powerful antidepressive effect that can boost mood and increase alertness. One study found that cold hydrotherapy also has a strong analgesic impact without side effects of dependence.
How Cold is Cold?
Just how cold a shower has to be in order to be effective is not solid science. It appears that anything below 70 degrees F has health benefits. Even if you swap out a couple of your warm showers a week with cool showers, it is likely that you will experience some benefit.
For most people, changing from warm to cool showers immediately can be difficult. Try easing into the routine by turning the temperature down just a little bit each time you shower until you are used to it. Stay under the cool water for two to three minutes and breathe deeply. The next time you shower, turn the water lower and stay a bit longer. You may even find that at some point, you no longer desire to be under warm water at all!