Cold showers are nothing new, though they’re becoming more and more popular as an intentional addition to some morning routines. Numerous wellness gurus have found that starting the day with a cold one can actually be quite beneficial. (It’s no surprise cryotherapy has also been taking off in recent days, albeit a bit more extreme.)
It’s not all hearsay either. Multiple scientific studies have found a whole host of benefits to taking cold showers. Even the National Institutes of Health have suggested cold showers could provide antidepressant qualities.
Note: if you have any serious health conditions, including heart conditions or heightened risk of stroke, consult a doctor first.
That said, here are just a few of the many reasons you may benefit from a cold, morning shower.
1. It helps boost your immunity.
Cold showers help improve circulation, and with that increased blood flow comes numerous health benefits. A few minutes a day in a cold shower can lower blood pressure and increase your white blood cell count.
2. It can help you be more alert.
Aside from the obvious fact that a cold shower will shock your body into wakefulness, it can also improve focus. That boost in blood flow we mentioned before has some great effects on your mental acuity and reaction time.
3. It promotes healthier skin and hair.
Hot showers absolutely sap your body of its natural oils which are essential to healthy skin and hair. After your first cold one, you’ll quickly notice how much less dry you feel. Cold water closes and flattens hair cuticles and tightens pores, too, giving you healthier, shinier hair and improved skin.
4. It speeds up recovery for sore muscles.
There’s a reason many athletes take ice baths in order to reduce soreness and relieve tension. That’s why after you get home from the gym is a great time to hop in a cold shower. This can reduce inflammation and help combat delayed onset muscle soreness.
5. It can help combat depression.
There’s a completely legitimate reason cold showers are sometimes seen as a pick-me-up. Your skin’s cold receptors send tons of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings straight to the brain. In other words, that shock of cold can actually have a really strong impact on your mood. Plus, it’s pretty invigorating, too.