How taking a cold shower can turbo-charge your wellness levels
-May 3, Jenny Paul, Health -
Taking a cold shower doesn’t necessarily jump out as an appealing prospect. In fact, most of us shiver at the thought. But with the list of reported benefits including slowing premature ageing, turbo-charging your immune system and giving you shiny hair and gorgeous skin, we decided to investigate.
It’s strange to think that the humble cold shower would become one of this year’s biggest wellness trends.
The idea conjures up an image of shivering children being tortured at boarding schools after group sports back in the 1970’s. But with some of the benefits being scientifically-proven, it could be time to add a blast of cold water to your daily health and beauty routine.
Scientists and health experts alike claim that benefits of taking a cold shower can include; slowing premature ageing, soothing stress, boosting immunity and clearing brain fog, helping sleep – as well as improving your skin and hair.
That’s a pretty impressive list of ways that a cold shower can improve your overall wellness levels.
The top 10 ways a cold shower can help your health
Katherine Hepburn used to take cold showers throughout her entire life, telling people that they increased her energy levels. The Hollywood star was advised to do this by her doctor when she was a child. And she continued to either take ice baths, or have daily cold showers well into old age.
Now it seems that those claims have merit in the modern day, as pro athletes including Lebron James and Kobe Bryant take ice baths to calm achey muscles and tame inflammation after hardcore workouts. This claim has been scientifically proven.
Other benefits include:
A cold shower can increase alertness and clear out brain fog
It might seem like a no brainier than turning down the dial on your shower is going to wake you up. But a scientific study found that the cold water sends a signal to your brain which then feeds it more oxygen. This results in you being able to think faster and solve problems more quickly.
Why is cold water great for your skin and hair?
Cold water temporarily tightens the pores on both your scalp and the skin on your face. This helps to seal in moisture and reduce puffiness on your face. The cold water losing in water to your hair follicles could also serve to reduce breakage and split ends. We have heard multiple hair stylists swear that rinsing with a blast of cold water after applying a hair masque helps give your hair extra shine. As cold water also boosts your circulation, it will give your face a lovely healthy glow.
How does a cold shower help with immunity?
People don’t often think about how important their immune system is until after they become unwell. It’s the body’s banker and it’s important to take steps to ensure that it doesn’t become bankrupt. A study from 2015 found that 29% of workers surveyed took less days off sick after taking regular cold showers. Theories abound that cold showers help to reduce stress and therefore that could be the factor that’s helping with improved immunity as stress plays havoc with your immune system.
Can a cold shower reduce stress levels?
There’s several very interesting reports that have found that cold showers reduce both anxiety and stress as well as depression. The bottom line is that it’s thought to decrease cortisol which is a nasty stress hormone. When your body goes into the ancient fight or flight syndrome – which is triggered by stress – it produces cortisol. This has a negative impact and makes you feel anxiety, worry, stress and can disrupt your sleep patterns too.
Converts swear that they have noticed an overall difference to all of the above factors. So as part of a healthy wellness routine that incorporates a balanced diet as well as exercise and getting eight hours of quality sleep each night perhaps turning the shower down for a few minutes each morning could be well worth a try.