We all want to live a healthier lifestyle, yet some of the lengths people go to in the pursuit of good health approach the point of concern, yet there’s one trend sweeping the nation that is scientifically proven to help our state of health – albeit, it sounds more akin to torture than a health tonic.
Indeed, the idea of replacing a nice warm and steamy shower with a short blast of icy cold water – particularly first thing in the morning, is not a thought many relish. The fearless few that have, however, utilised this practice as a daily ritual claim to receive a ridiculous number of health benefits, so let’s explore what all the fuss is about by considering three of the crazy health benefits cold showers are said to produce.
Now, of course, nobody is claiming to have found the fountain of youth in their pursuit of these freezing cold showers, so healthcare innovations such as Maestro Advantage are still very much required – but cold showers could help you perform more optimally on both a physical and mental level. They could even play a part in managing conditions such as diabetes.
- INCREASE ALERTNESS
It’s easy to imagine how taking a cold shower first thing in the morning might leave you feeling more alert for the day ahead… yet, there’s a lot going on internally, such as the fact that in response to your body’s shock, the depth and pace of your breathing will increase, as will your heartbeat, thus your oxygen intake will increase dramatically – which is very beneficial to replenishing your body at a cellular level.
- SPEEDS UP MUSCLE RECOVERY
It’s always been common for athletes to take an ice bath after intense training in order to reduce muscle soreness. Studies have since found that a quick cold shower, can be just as effective in terms of stimulating one’s metabolism however, and equally effective in terms of relieving the aches and pains associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Apparently, a 24 minute cold water bath at a temperature of 10 to 15 degree celsius (50 to 59 degrees fahrenheit) are the optimal conditions for muscle recovery, yet a short sharp cold shower (minimum of 5-10 minutes) will deliver a similar result.
Furthermore, cold showers have an analgesic effect on the body and are particularly good at relieving tension headaches; due to the blood that rushes to the brain in order to protect it from the cold water.
- RELIEVE DEPRESSION
A study published by a molecular biologist named Nikolai Shevchuk found evidence that cold showers can help alleviate symptoms of depression; to the extent they may actually be more effective than antidepressants. The scientific basis for this is that exposure to cold water will flood your brain with neurotransmitters, which is perhaps why surfers and those that swim in cold water each day, are often so cheerful and grounded?
In summary, the long term health benefits would appear to outweigh the short term pain. Indeed, the term “no pain no gain” comes to mind when enduring the icy waters of a cold shower.