by Janet Ashforth
Are Cold Showers Good for You?
The answer is yes. Cold showers are a game-changer with a slew of benefits that may make you want to take one every day. Yes, a cold shower can feel like an icy blast from the Arctic, but you don’t have to endure endless minutes in a cold shower to receive the benefits. You can incorporate a few minutes of cold into your regular shower and slowly increase the duration of cold as you grow accustomed to the temperature.
However, when we say cold, we mean all the way cold. Just a bit chilly isn’t going to cut it, so turn that faucet handle all the way up to reap these remarkable benefits, including:
- An improvement in depression
- An improvement in mood and motivation
- A decrease in body-fat (by increasing brown fat and decreasing subcutaneous fat)
- A decrease in chronic pain
- Assistance in exercise recovery
- An increase in immune function
- An increase in willpower
- A stronger immune system
- An increase in testosterone
- Weight loss stimulation
- Stronger hair and skin
- An increase in focus and alertness
- Tightened pores in your skin
- Better blood circulation
- A decrease in stress by regulating your autonomic nervous system
- Less fatigue and/or insomnia
- An improvement varicose veins and/or hemorrhoids
It’s an exhaustive list with so many benefits that it may seem impossible, but these benefits have been scientifically proven by numerous studies. Cold showers are nothing new. Hydrotherapy dates back to the 1820s when Vincenz Priessnitz, a farmer in Gräfenberg, Austrian Silesia, started touting hydrotherapy as a new medical treatment. The practice soon spread to the rest of Europe and eventually made its way to the United States. Its popularity declined in the 20th century when doctors began to favor drugs for illness treatments. Now, cold showers seem to be making a comeback. But please keep in mind that if you have heart problems or any other medical issues, you should check with your doctor to make sure cold water therapy is right for you.
Janet Ashforth has been a personal fitness trainer for over 20 years and currently owns her own fitness company. She uses fitness training, yoga, meditation, nutritional guidance and massage to guide her clients in health and wellness. Ashforth has held certifications from the American Council on Exercise and American College of Sports Medicine, and is also a licensed massage therapist.
1. Shevchuk, NA. 2007, November 13. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nl2007, m.nih.gov/pubmed/17993252
2. Knox,R. 2009, April 9. Fat Could Help You Lose Weight Someday. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102964807
3. Mooventhan, A. 2014, May 6. Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4049052/
4. Siems, W. ND. Uric acid and glutathione levels during short-term whole body cold exposure. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0891584994900302