Cold showers, cold baths and exposing oneself to cold temperatures in a smart way has been a remedy for treating many ailments by various cultures for decades. Many amateur and professional athletes use “cryotherapy”, which is immersion in ice cold water.
There are huge benefits from taking cold showers and baths.
I have started to take cold showers first thing in the morning. I must say that it was pretty intense at first. Then it became acceptable. Then I started to look forward to it. Now I can’t wait to jump into the ice cold shower first thing after I open my eyes.
Athletes can get amazing benefits from exposures to cold, would it be from lowering the temperature in your house or in your bedroom, cold showers or baths, or other more intense cold therapies. You will get healthier, leaner, and fitter. You will sleep better, have more energy, and feel better overall.
The New York Times’ article “Central Heating May Be Making us Fat” addressed and connected weight gain with ambient temperature in a room.
Benefits of Cold Showers
Brown Fat Activation and Increasing Metabolism and Weight Loss
Studies in The New England Journal of Medicine found that taking cold showers and making yourself cold activates “brown fat” or “brown adipose tissue” (BAT). BAT is a special kind of fat that is found around the sternum, collarbones, upper back and similar areas of your truck. This fat generates heat by burning regular adipose tissue (fat)—the kind that you find in the areas that you prefer not to have fat, such as hips, glutes, legs, abs, etc). The fat burning may be increased up to 300 percent. The BAT increases metabolism. And one certain way to fire this fat burning metabolism is by taking cold showers. There are theories that ice cold showers may accelerate your metabolism even more than diet and exercise.
Post-Injury Cold Therapy
Applying cold on an injured and damaged tissue lowers the tissue’s temperature and locally constricts blood vessels. Targeted ice therapy immediately after an injury helps to prevent swelling from the fluid and waste build-up, and associated brushing. Cold numbs the nerve endings, which gives you a localized and instant pain relief.
When you immerse yourself fully into a tub full of cold water or ice, it will help to bring your heart rate down and increase circulation, minimize inflammation and recover faster by decreasing blood lactate concentrations. You also decrease the delayed-onset muscle soreness. Most of the studies used cold water of 50–59 degrees F (10–15 degrees C) and the subjects were immersed for average 24 minutes.
Stress and Disease Tolerance
Immersing yourself in cold bath or shower for short periods of time promotes “hardening”. Hardening is a term that conveys an exposure to natural stimulus that results in increased tolerance to stress and disease. Exposure to the cold water increases the number of the disease fighting white blood cells and also increases glutathione, which is the body’s most powerful antioxidant that keeps all other antioxidants performing and top levels.
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry away waste, bacteria, microbes and other “toxic” materials from your cells. The lymphatic system doesn’t have any central pump like the heart is for the blood vessels, so if the systems becomes slow and inefficient, the toxins build up, and you will feel joint pain, or catch colds, infections, and other diseases. Cold water cause the lymph vessels to contract, pumping the lymph fluid through the body and flushing the wastes out of the area. You will stay healthy and energetic.
When your cardiovascular system is compromised from bad nutrition and lifestyle without exercise, the circulation becomes poor and your heart becomes stressed. This leads to high blood pressure, muscle cramping, headaches, fatigue and possibly worse things such as heart attack or stroke. Cold water stimulates blood flow. The blood rushes to the organs and your heart has to pump more efficiently, pushing blood through all vessels and delivering the oxygen and nutrients to all organs. You will improve your heart health, immune system, mental performance and overall wellbeing.
Cold Therapy Steps from Beginner to HardCore
- Put an ice pack on your upper back and upper chest for 30 minutes per day. Watch TV, read or meditate while you do it. It is quite relaxing.
- Drink 2 glasses (500 ml) of ice water in the morning
- Take an ice cold shower first thing in the morning. Eventually add showers during the day as well.
- Immerse yourself in ice water up to your waist or higher for 10 minutes, 3–4 times per week. Fill your tub with cold water and ice cubes, or if you live close to the ocean, just go and jump in. Cold immersion doesn’t seem to have any side effects (or very minimal) so you can safely spend up to 20–30 minutes in your cold tub.
Cold Shower, the Simplest, Cheapest and Most Popular Ticket to your Longevity
- Start slowly.
- When you immerse yourself, it is a shock for your body. Get used to it slowly, don’t go to fast too long.
- Always listen to your body and work yourself up to the more advanced ice-therapy procedure slowly.
- If the cold shower is too intense, start first with your face, then add the arms and upper chest.
- Turn around and let the water run down your kidneys, then upper back.
- At this point, you will be enjoying it and can stay there for longer, turning around, letting the cold stream hit your body from many different angles. Breathe deeply, relax, and enjoy.
- Stay there for at least 3 minutes, and eventually even more.
- Develop the habit of taking cold showers regularly. Daily. A few times a day… Feel the energy spread through you and feel healthy and strong.