The Benefits of a Cold Shower

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 5.41.36 PM

What am I experimenting with lately?

Cold showers…

Yep you heard it right. I really really hate the cold but my friend Jesse Jacobs recently wrote a blog post on the benefits of taking cold showers. I had read a bit here and there about this idea but his blog finally convinced me to give a shot.

I’ve been trying this for a week now and while I cannot say I have seen any real ‘results,’ there are two things I have noticed. One, I feel incredibly refreshed and invigorated after the shower. Enough so, that yesterday I actually forgot to do my 10-15 seconds of cold and once I realized it, I got back into the shower to do it! And two, it’s easier to put lotion on post-shower because I am no longer sweating in my small bathroom :).

Here is the link to his blog for more of his personal success rituals and a step by step on how to get started but below I have included the 8 benefits a cold shower can provide. Thanks Jesse!

  1. Fight Colds And Sickness: Cold showers stress the body causing it to upregulate our systems in a healthy way. Research shows enhanced long-term antioxidative adaptation, an increase in the number and activity of peripheral cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Since the 1800’s cold showers and baths were prescribed to help fight sickness. Even the Greeks, with their hot baths, maintained cold pools for their healing benefit. Exposure to cold water will eventually trigger hypothermia, though. Keep it to less than 10 minutes to avoid the risk and maximize the reward.

  2. Improve Circulation: Your blood flows into your internal organs while you sleep to support repair and regeneration. Start with a warm shower to warm up your muscles. Then switch the dial to full-on cold for a blast of nature’s own wake-up remedy. Capillaries on the surface of your skin will dilate, becoming large and pulling blood from your core to your extremities to warm them up. When you’ve had enough, turn the dial back to warm. Take a moment to stop shouting and regain your composure. Then switch back to cold for what is called a “contrast bath.” Fans of this method claim it keeps them looking younger and feeling healthier. Just remember to end on cold!

  3. Burn Fat: Not only does taking cold showers stimulate overall metabolic rate while you burn calories to get warm, but it can boost blood glucose which in turn suppresses appetite. While the cold water washes down your shoulders, your body will start producing more brown fat cells, fat cells specialized to burn glucose stored in your white fat cells. Not only that, brown fat cells have been shown to protect from aging, fight obesity, fight diabetes, and help fight heart disease. Still not convinced? Pick up a copy of The 4-Hour Body and read the chapter on NASA scientist Ray Cronise who lost 30 pounds — of fat, not weight — in just six weeks through a regimen of drinking cold water, cold walks, and cold swims.

  4. Live Longer: The mild stress caused by the cold shower encourages thermogenesis, the process of heat production in warm-blooded animals. About two or three minutes after the the initial shock, you’ll feel the process kick in as your inner fire begins to cook. Thermogenesis is a powerful response known to increase immunity, reduce pain, reduce stress, fight depression, boost anti-tumor responses and fight chronic fatigue syndrome. Over time, regular use of cold showers can lower core body temperature which some people believe can extend expected lifespan in humans by decades.

  5. Feel Happier: If you’re feeling depressed you might have trouble summoning the energy to jump into a cold shower. On the other hand, it couldn’t get worse, and a recent study has shown cold showers may help fight and even prevent depression. Cold showers stimulate your brain’s “blue spot,” which in turns releases noradrenaline, a chemical believed to alleviate depression.

  6. Look More Youthful: While hot water is known to dry out skin and hair, cold water contracts cuticles and pores. This keeps them from getting clogged, preventing acne and blemishes. Plus it contributes to detoxification by squeezing toxins and waste from the skin. By closing cuticles, you are also keeping hair roots strong which slows hair loss. The result is vibrant, fresh, youthful looking skin.

  7. Have Better Sex: Contrary to conventional wisdom, if you or your honey is having trouble rising to the occasion, a cold shower can actually help. Low levels of testosterone can result in problems achieving and sustaining an erection. Low testosterone can also play a role in low sex-drive in women. The good news is that a cold shower is a natural way to boost this critical hormone. Not only does it help in the bedroom, but the cold showers also help testes regulate optimum temperature, increasing sperm motility and overall virility.

  8. Fight Fear, Build Courage: How much energy do you spend trying to surround yourself with personal comforts? By intentionally exposing yourself to discomfort you disarm anxiety and fear. Every time you turn the shower dial to cold, you are flexing your courage muscles, building confidence in your ability to confront uncomfortable situations. As you become more comfortable in the cold shower, you become more comfortable facing adversity with courage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *