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  • Josh Blakley

Are Cold Showers Actually Good For You?



A COLD SHOWER BENEFITS YOUR OVERALL HEALTH

Cold showers or any other cold therapy is beneficial to multiple body systems. Many studies have shown that cold showers can heighten your immune system, help with anxiety, build up willpower, and even help with autoimmune diseases and cancer. Besides getting out of your comfort zone they can also help bring more balanced homeostasis to your life. Here are more reasons why you should consider cold therapy every day:


1. Increase Your Willpower

Willpower, how do you get more of it? Starting a cold shower is probably one of the hardest things you'll decide to do to yourself. It's like what Wim Hof says if you die a little every day then you know the meaning of living. By simply deciding to put yourself through such a gut-wrenching idea, you're already increasing your willpower. If that's not one of the best ways to start your day, I don't what it is.

Willpower: Control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.


2. Improve Your Circulation

Winter is coming and you're dreading it because your hands turn purple every single time you go out into the cold. Fear not! Who needs gloves when cold therapy can help you?! Poor circulation is a result of many different things. It could be a thyroid issue or even a musculoskeletal issue. Either way, poor circulation can stress your heart out and that's No Bueno for anyone.


Better blood flow comes with many benefits like a warmer body and extremities, healthier biological oscillators (heart, brain, guts), strength and vibrancy, and muscle function to name a few! When you immerse your body in cold water, your blood rushes to surround your vital organs. This allows your heart to pump more efficiently, pumping blood through all your vessels and supplying your entire body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to stay warm. At first, your trunk is going to selfishly obtain all of the warmth but as you get used to it, your extremities will be able to reap some of that blood and warmth too. Here's how you can improve it without fully submerging:

  1. Get a bowl or bucket of ice-cold water

  2. Grab a timer

  3. Stick your extremities in for 30 seconds to start

  4. Switch extremities (either your hands or your feet)

  5. That's it! Do that every day.


3. Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Possibly one of the best benefits of cold showers is a reduction of cytokines meaning less inflammation. The primary role cytokines play in your body is to regulate inflammation. Cytokines, therefore, help regulate your immune response. There are pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines within your body. An excess amount of cytokines is related to such diseases as asthma, Rheumatoid arthritis, HIV infection, neurodegenerative responses, Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Fibrosis, and autoimmune diseases.


Cold showers in essence help to regulate these cytokines to be more balanced as a study here showed, based on the Wim Hof techniques.


cold water immersion for post workout muscle recovery

4. Quicker Workout Recovery

The question is do cold showers help after a workout? The short answer is yes! We've all probably experienced post-workout muscle soreness 24-48 hours after working out. Doing an intense workout can be debilitating the next day, especially those leg days and trying to walk up and downstairs. Well, put those muscle relaxers and medical drugs in the trash. There is a better and healthier way now. Cold showers have been scientifically proven to help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. Cold showers reduce inflammation, which is in part what muscle soreness is. The cold can help reduce the heat within your body and again, balance out those cytokine cells.


cold water immersion for weight loss

5. Weight Loss and Increased Metabolism

When it comes to an increased metabolism, studies show that cold water immersion can help by increasing it by up to 16%. Becuase your metabolic rate is your body's way of using energy and burning calories, increasing this will in turn help you lose weight and use energy more efficiently. Not to mention when you're actively in the cold water your body has to work hard to maintain its normal temperature meaning your metabolism is in full effect.


cold water immersion for thermoregulation

6. More Efficient Thermoregulation

Thermo-what? Thermoregulation is your body's ability to adjust or maintain its normal temperature independent of internal and external factors. How does cold water help with that? Let's look at your hands and feet for example. Do you get cold hands and feet? By simply placing your hands and feet in the cold water - not your body - you will train your body to get used to the stressor and thus get more used to the cold. Here's Wim Hof explaining how treating your cold hands and feet with cold water can help!



IS COLD WATER IMMERSION GOOD FOR YOU?

Absolutely, cold water immersion is excellent for your body! If you're new to cold water or cold showers remember to start slow and work your way up, your health and future self will thank you! Whether you notice or not, your body will instantly gain all of the health benefits from cold water therapy.


Thanks for reading!

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