Cold Showers can sound terrifying if you’ve never done one before, like a taste of icy hell; but they sure sound amazing if you’re a veteran. Whether in the morning or at the end of the day, taking a cold shower is challenging to many people as most are used to the relaxing nature of warm water.
But did you know that cold showers have been proven to have an amazing effect on your wellbeing and health? Also known as the “James Bond Shower,” or a “Scottish Shower,” turning the temperature down to freezing cold at the end can provide surprising benefits for our body, such as:
Have you been having a hard time getting going in the morning? Jump in a cold shower and you’ll see how quickly it wakes you up. This is because the cold water increases the circulation in your body, which means higher demand for oxygen. It gets you automatically start breathing deeper – this fights off fatigue.
Better Immune System
Countless studies have shown how exposure to the cold can improve your immunity. Immersing yourself in cold water has been known to increase metabolic rates because it causes shivering and activates your immune system. In fact, this benefit is recognised across the globe. For instance, it is common practice to let small babies take naps outdoors in the cold in Sweden as it makes them more resistant to disease; the same case also in Siberia, but they take it even a step further by dumping a whole bucket of cold water over children’s heads (we're not advocating you try this one!). About 95% of these kids are healthy through the flu season.
Speeds up recovery of sore muscles
Whether on TV or in real life, you’ve probably seen athletes taking long ice baths after training to reduce muscle soreness, but even a quick cold shower after a long day grind can be just as effective, especially in relieving the onset of delayed muscle soreness (DOMS). In 2009, a study found that cold water baths were effective in relieving sore muscles one to four days after exercises.
Promotes emotional resilience and lowers stress
Studies have shown that cold showers can help develop better stress resilience in the nervous system. Just making the effort to actually step into a cold shower serves as a small form of oxidative stress, gradually helping the body adapt over time and teach the brain to prepare for stressful situations. As the brain learns how to deal with stress, immersing yourself in icy waters can also help cut the levels of uric acid and boost glutathione in the blood, which in turn, help lower stress.
Stimulates Weight Loss
Studies have shown that cold showers are great if you want to lose weight. This is because exposing your body to cold forces means it requires more heat to warm you up. In order to do so, it has to process more energy, which means it has to burn more fat more efficiently than normal. This also activates the brown fat inside of you, which is used to insulate your body and generate heat.
How to do it!
So give it a go: we promise that you soon get use to it and you quickly end up enjoying the sense of calm it unlocks afterwards! We recommend:
Step into the cold shower;
Your natural reaction will be to breathe quickly; instead concentrate on breathing normally;
Count your breathes up to a target number (15 is a good starting point);
When you reach your target, step out of the shower for a short period;
When you're ready, step back in and repeat until you have completed a total of 3 sets.
Over time, aim to increase your target number of breathes in each set.
With the ability to change everything from your mindset to your health, cold showers should feature more prominently in our daily lives. And the best part is that it costs nothing! Ready to take the plunge?