Improve immune system
More than 3,000 study participants in the Netherlands in 2015 were divided into four groups and asked to take a warm bath every day for a month. In which, 3 groups were asked to finish bathing with cold water within 30 seconds, 60 seconds and 90 seconds. The other control group only bathed with warm water.
After a 3-month follow-up period, the scientists published the results in the journal PloS One, showing that the 3 groups of cold baths had 29% less time off work because of illness compared to those who took warm baths. Scientists think this result is related to the strengthening of the immune system.
Another study from the Czech Republic published in the European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology found that healthy young adults had a boost in their immune systems when they were immersed in cold water three times a week for six weeks.
Improve blood circulation
Cold water also helps activate the sympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that governs the “fight-or-flight” response (a natural physiological response to an event perceived as dangerous, stressful, or dangerous). straight or scary). When taking a cold shower, this is triggered to increase the hormone noradrenaline. This is what causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn improves health .
Cold water immersion has also been shown to improve blood circulation. When exposed to cold water, blood flow to the skin is reduced. When contact stops, the body must warm itself, so the amount of blood reaching the surface of the skin will increase, which improves blood circulation. A study published in the International journal of sports medicine in 2020 found that blood flow to and from muscles was improved after four weeks of cold water immersion after exercise.
A study published in the European journal of applied physiology showed that cold water immersion at a temperature of 14oC increased metabolism by 350%. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy, so a higher metabolism equates to more energy burned.
Improve mental health
Aside from the physical benefits, cold showers are also beneficial for mental health. Cold water immersion increases mental alertness by stimulating the “fight-or-avoid” response.
According to research from German scientists, using cold water to wash the face and neck has been shown to help improve brain function in older adults.
According to research conducted by Dr. Nikolai A Shevchuk and published in the medical journal Medical Hypotheses, cold showers can also help reduce symptoms of depression.
Source: The Conversation