Less sick days
Do you sniff throughout the cold and flu season? There are two ways to fight these common diseases: to avoid all possible microbes and strengthen your immune system. This is the approach every time a colleague comes to work with an intestinal flu or a child sneezes in the face. To strengthen your defense against microbes, science has discovered a new weapon: cold showers (literally). Finish your daily shower under cold water and you will reduce your days of illness by 30%, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. Participants who turned the tap cold for 30 to 90 seconds at the end of each shower not only took fewer sick days, but, strangely enough,
Less body fat
Our body starts to metabolize fat differently when temperatures are low. It changes the yellow fat that is bad for health, into brown fat, in which the body draws to maintain a normal temperature. Gradually, you lose weight and fat, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). And you burn more calories because your body spends more energy to stay at 37 ° C. There is a lack of data on the long-term benefits of cold water, but people have long used “cold water therapy” or “therapeutic tremor” to lose weight, at least in the short term . If you prefer cold showers to more traditional methods of weight loss, it’s
As Ice Bucket Challenge participants can attest to, throwing a bucket of icy water on your head will really shake you up. This is because any shock suffered by the body activates the production of endorphins, these hormones secreted by the brain glands that cause a burst of energy. Cold showerers say the effect lasts long after taking a shower and getting warm. It has been shown in a study published in Behavioral and Brain Functions that people with chronic fatigue are less exhausted. Throughout her life, actress Katharine Hepburn practiced “invigorating” cold showers and cold baths, a practice of her father’s doctor who claimed that cold increases energy and vitality.
Greater tolerance to pain
Are you one of the people who suffer from chronic pain? If so, opt for the cold shower that releases endorphins. According to a meta-analysis (synthesis of the results of several studies) on hydrotherapy published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences, the sensation of pain decreases after a cold shower, and tolerance to pain is greater.
Less depressed and anxious
Taking a cold shower in the morning may seem depressing, but for people suffering from clinical depression, it may be quite the opposite, reports an article in Medical Hypotheses. According to the researchers, cold water sends “an impressive amount of electrical impulses to the brain, from the peripheral nerve endings, which could have an anti-depressant effect.” Other research has shown that a cold shower is good for the mood because it reduces stress and anxiety. More research is needed, but many people reported a major improvement in their mood after starting their day with a cool or cold water shower.
A cold shower in the morning brings you the same benefits as a cup of coffee, but without causing the agitation, anxiety and energy loss that occurs when the effect of caffeine fades. And it makes sense. After all, what can revive your attention faster than cold water on your head? The 2014 meta-analysis provides a scientific foundation for this: the icy shower engages the body’s emergency systems and puts you on alert. Those who practice it say they concentrate better on their work afterwards.
Faster recovery after exercise
Athletes Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have been taking a cold shower for a long time after a demanding exercise or a hot game to reduce muscle aches and speed recovery. If it’s good for them, why would not it be for ordinary mortals? The scientific results are mixed: some experts have found that cold water increases blood circulation and decreases inflammation, while another study found no effect. It can work for you or not.
You would like to have a little more will, especially since the season of resolutions is behind you? Well, your will is like a muscle: the more you train it to avoid temptation and do difficult things, the stronger it gets and makes you able to maintain good habits, according to a report by the American Psychological Association. Even if the cold shower did not provide you with health benefits, the mere fact of having accomplished something difficult makes you able to do unpleasant things in other areas of your life.