You might ask why would you even think about taking a cold shower in the middle of winter? A cold shower does more than wake you up in the morning. Cold showers can have an amazing effect on your wellbeing. The benefits will blow your mind; however, you will not know it until you try it.
Taking a cold shower is an ancient practice, it goes way back to Hippocrates, the Egyptians turned it into an art form using essential oils and wildflowers. During Victorian times, cold baths were frequently prescribed for all manner of complaints from bruises to hysteria. Malvern in Worcestershire became a hot spot for hydrotherapy clinics. The treatment involved patients being wrapped in wet sheets covered in warm blankets, and an hour later buckets of cold water would be thrown over them. Following that they would do a 5 mile walk up the hill. Now that is hardcore!
What are the benefits?
Here is a question: Do you find it a little tricky to wake up in the morning?
A cold-water shower is a perfect way to get your morning started, not only does it make you feel ALIVE, but the effects will also last throughout the day. When you take a cold shower it simulates you to take deeper breaths which in turn decreases the level of CO2 throughout your body, helping your body to concentrate, this can have a lasting effect on you throughout the day. The breathing technique will take a little practice, try not to gasp for air, just take nice even slow breaths. It will take a few cold showers to get the hang of it but once you've climatised yourself you will find it absolutely invigorating!
Improves blood circulation
As we age unfortunately our blood circulation declines. Cold showers improve overall blood circulation which can help with hypertension and hardening of the arteries while strengthening the immune system. Some people who regularly take cold showers or swim in cold waters have said their skin looks better and this is because their blood circulation has improved.
How does it work? By bringing the body temperature down, we speed up the delivery of warmer, freshly oxygenated blood to the body. If you suffer with poor circulation you too could benefit from taking cold showers. However, if you have a medical condition do not start the process, check with your GP first. This is especially important if you have a heart condition as it is something you would be advised NOT to do.
Stress and anxiety are one of the big health concerns around the world. Covid-19 has caused so much worry and many of us are seeking the most effective ways to manage our mental health. The “shock” effect to the skin from getting a cold shower, can make people more tolerant of stress, particularly if this is repeated over time.
Anxiety may cause an increase in blood pressure, so in theory, a cold shower may help bring it down. Another way cold showers may work is by increasing endorphins or the feel-good hormones in your brain. Some people find it a very calming experience because when you are under that cold water you have to teach yourself to manage the emotion. You are going to want to scream and shout, so it can help you to build resistance to stress.
These are just a few benefits, but we dare you to take the plunge! Alison is going to start her cold shower journey tomorrow. Look out for her vlogs on our social media pages.