Cold water showers what effects it have on health
By custom, we always associate the moment to take a hot shower with a daily parenthesis of warmth and relaxation. However, what many are unaware of is that since ancient times cold water showers have been used as a natural treatment of health and well-being.
Possible effects on our health, our mood and even our sexual life. Do these benefits really exist or is it a myth? Today here we analyze cold water showers and what effects they have on health.
Cold baths from ancient times
Since the time of the Spartans themselves, cold water showers were considered as a sign of strength and vigor in the face of those societies that demonstrated their weakness, such as Athenian groups, using water heating systems for their occasional baths.
Today still some cultures, like the Japanese Shinto, are still rooted in the ancient practice of cold baths as part of their religious rituals and purification. Even today we are witnessing the tradition of some countries, such as Russia or Finland, where popular winter baths are still taking place in the frozen waters of the country.
But does this really have physical benefits? It seems that our ancestors knew what they were doing, and the answer to this myth is not only affirmative in this case, but cold water showers also positively affect our mental and sexual health.
Oxygenation of the body: improvement of blood circulation and inflammation
A physician and author of the legendary Buteyk Breathing Method (approved by the Russian Ministry of Health for the treatment of asthma and heart disease), was responsible for demonstrating how cold showers were responsible for increased body oxygenation and Of respiratory learning.
Before a shower with cold water, our heart responds with an increase in the beat of the heart that results in a greater muscular stimulation and a more efficient delivery of blood to our organs. That is, while a conventional hot shower intensifies the blood flow to the surface of the skin, the cold stimulus of contraction of the veins close to the surface favors the internal irrigation towards arteries, arterioles and capillaries.
Thermal regulation and activation of brown fat: stimulation of weight loss
Regular cold showers reduce heat loss leading to a drop in body temperature. This increase in the metabolic rate leads to an activation of brown fat to compensate for the thermal difference and to restore body temperature through the mitochondria and without the need for physical activity.
For this reason, the usual practice of cold water showers is directly associated with a calorie burn, in order to generate the necessary heat, thus stimulating weight loss.
Lymphatic movement and body detoxification: improving the immune system
As discussed earlier, cold water showers cause a body contraction that causes our lymphatic fluid to expand properly throughout the body, which is fundamental because if it were concentrated or accumulated in certain parts of the body (mostly in the extremities) it could Serious problems.
Research concludes that cold water showers work by reconstituting our body, inhibiting the metabolism of purines and promoting the immune system’s predisposition, through white blood cells, against possible viruses and infectious processes.
Psychological benefits: increased energy and stress tolerance
When we take a shower with cold water our nerve endings are activated, altering our heart and respiratory rhythm: there is an imminent increase of energy. This potent stimulation has been shown to activate norepinephrine secretion in the brain, which is related to mood enhancement and levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
This elimination of chemical components in the brain is associated not only with psychological benefits, but with a sense of well-being and, according to studies, with an improvement in the quality of sleep.
Sexual benefits: testosterone and fertility
Have you ever heard the saying “heat kills sperm”? For we do not know how true this is, but the reality is that cold showers are related to certain benefits and sexual advantages.
Replacing the hot water in our bathroom with cold water can be a good ally for those who suffer from fertility problems because it is believed that this mechanism can help increase testosterone levels by increasing the quantity and quality of sperm.
Tips: all calmly and in proportion
It is important to take into account if there is a condition that is not conducive to this type of practice (i.e. heart disease) because, as we have seen, it can cause certain alterations.
Otherwise, start cold showers with caution. The ideal is to get accustomed to the body, little by little, to the temperature change to which we are going to submit, and for this, we can start the shower with warm water that we will gradually regulating and cooling.
Likewise, you have to be careful with the time that we go to the shower of cold water. It is advisable to expose them to short intervals of time, taking care not to exceed 10-15 minutes.