Coldwater baths are used in military practices, sports training and even Spartan warriors, samurais and monks have used this habit to strengthen their body and spirit. Let’s see which are the benefits attributed to this practice to define if it’s worth the sacrifice.
– Improves circulation: Your body will work to maintain a temperature of 36 degrees, so the cold water will stimulate your circulation. This will increase your heart rate and your blood vessels will constrict. If you have any type of cardiovascular problem or cold, it is better not to try it.
– Improves oxygenation of cells: By increasing the heart rate, respiration will also accelerate and the blood will carry more oxygen to your organs and muscles.
– Accelerates the metabolism: In this effort to maintain a constant temperature, your metabolism will burn fat, sugar and it will consume calories to generate energy.
– Wake up and activate the body: A cold shower turns you active, alert, prepares you to face the challenges of a new day. It has an effect similar to caffeine.
– Clears your mind and improves productivity: It’s a natural reaction to the cold, your attention increases due to the secretion of norepinephrine, it rises your perceived sensation of energy.
– It has an anti-inflammatory effect, relieving the pain of bruises and inflammations. Also, it helps eliminate lactic acid produced when you exercise.
– Improves mood: Decreases anxiety and the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. Facing voluntarily a positive stressor such as a cold shower helps you to manage other types of psychological stress such as anxiety. Besides, the electrical impulse of cold water on nerve endings is a positive stimulus to treat depression.
– It’s good for the skin and hair: Hot water eliminates the natural protection of the skin and hair, drying them while cold water contracts the pores, closes the hair cuticles, tones the skin and helps you to have shiny hair.
– Improves the body’s defences: Coldwater helps the immune system to release white blood cells, those responsible for fighting viruses and bacteria.
– Improves libido, quantity and quality of sperm: cold water stimulates the secretion of testosterone, the hormone that promotes sexual libido in both sexes and the production of sperm in men.
– Helps you to sleep: Although it’s stimulating, after a while, the body relaxes and promotes sleep.
– Stimulates the renal and lymphatic system: Favors the expulsion of toxins present in our body.
– Improves self-esteem: By overcoming the challenge of a shower with cold water, the individual feels a greater sense of self-control and improves the good perception of himself.
– Train the thermo-regulator system: Exercising with cold showers train us to deal with temperature changes, to stop being so reactive to cold.
Those who use this system suggest gradual incorporation into your routine, starting with a few minutes of cold water after showering with warm water. Another alternative is turning off slowly the hot water so the change is not so radical. With the time your body will get used to it, you will increase your tolerance and begin to enjoy the benefits of this practice.