Showers are one of the best things one can do after a long day at work or right after a training session. But almost everyone takes warm or hot showers and only a few take cold showers despite it being more beneficial.
If you refuse to believe it just because you hate feeling cold, then you should know that cold showers can improve circulation which leads to better muscle recovery, can increase alertness and energy levels, can keep your body warm because it promotes the brown fat formation, and can ease stress. On top of that, cold showers can relieve constipation, edema, and appetite loss.
And if that’s not enough for you, cold showers can increase the response of your immune system. A conducted study found that taking cold showers on a daily basis for 30 days straight reduces self-reported sickness absence by 29%, however, the cold showers did not reduce the number of sick days.
This method is derived from practices done by people living in very cold areas, for example, Russian people always dip themselves in ice-cold water during winter, Finnish families jump into a cold lake or a cold bath right after finishing a sauna session, and historically Romans increased their vitality by ending their baths with cold baths.
A study found that training in cold weather can enhance monocyte, leukocyte, and granulocyte response. And the founder of the Thrombosis Research Institute in London, Professor Vijay Kakkar, suggests that cold water increases the metabolic rate and warm up the body by boosting blood circulation (in other words, more white blood cells are going to circulate throughout your body).
If you are not yet convinced, here’s another study for you. A German study found that taking a two minute cold shower every single day can reduce the chances of getting a fever and cold in rates higher than those of hot and warm showers.
If you don’t want to kick off your shower with cold water, start by taking a hot shower, then start lowering the water temperature exponentially throughout the showering session and end it with cold water for about two minutes and that’s all you need to boost your immune system.