Cold showers: the polar opposite of a warm, cozy hug from a loved one. They have been around since the invention of indoor plumbing, but have recently gained popularity as a supposed health wonder treatment.
But are the benefits real or just a myth?
The origins of cold showers can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where they were believed to improve circulation and invigorate the mind and body.
Fast forward to the present day and they are touted as a way to boost the immune system, improve circulation, and even burn fat. But are these benefits backed by science or just a bunch of hot air?
Let’s start with the pros of taking cold showers:
Cold showers can indeed help to improve circulation and boost the immune system. They can also increase alertness and decrease muscle soreness after a workout. And for those looking to burn fat, a study found that taking cold showers can increase the amount of brown fat in the body, which burns calories to generate heat.
But before you jump in the shower and crank the dial to arctic, there are also cons to consider
Cold showers can cause constriction of blood vessels, which can lead to increased blood pressure and make it harder for the body to fight off infections. They can also cause shrinkage in certain areas (you know what we’re talking about) and make for an uncomfortable shower experience.
So who should take cold showers and why?
If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up in the morning or a way to reduce muscle soreness after a workout, cold showers might be for you.
But if you’re recovering from an illness or have a medical condition that affects your circulation, it’s best to stick to warm showers.
Who should avoid cold showers?
People with high blood pressure, asthma, or Raynaud’s disease should avoid cold showers as they can constrict blood vessels and make symptoms worse.
Additionally, if you’re feeling under the weather, it’s best to stick to warm showers to help ease congestion and soothe a sore throat.
So while cold showers may have some health benefits, they are not a magic cure-all. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, it’s important to consider your individual health needs and talk to your healthcare professional.
And remember, just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean it’s not fun!