Posted on Oct 31, 2019, 1 p.m.
Most people prefer to have a nice relaxing hot shower in the morning, but some opt to have a cold shower to jump start their day, a study even shows cold showers will make you more likely to go to work.
A study led by the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam revealed that cold showers help to toughen a person up, and employees who take a cold shower in the morning “are significantly less likely to call in sick to work.”
According to modern luxury spas cold showers can “improve circulation and the immune system.” Animal studies suggest that this is due to exposure to the cold helping to release beta endorphins “which make dealing with pain easier.”
The study published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that a person has more energy when the day is started with a cold shower. “Our findings show that routinely showering (hot-to) cold for at least 30 days resulted in a reduction of self-reported sick leave from work but not illness days in adults.”
Participants were divided into groups, one group showering normally, and another began with a warm shower that was followed by a 30, 60, or 90 second blast of cold water; the energy boost experienced from a cold shower was reported to be the same effect as a caffeine boost from a cup of coffee.
While testing for benefits of the cold shower it was discovered that some participants “reported feeling persistently cold, particularly in their hands and feet.” Those in the cold shower group reported experiencing “a small improvement in their quality of life.” Some of those in the cold shower groups stated they would keep up the cold showers, and on 60 day follow up the bulk kept to their work with two thirds of the participants reporting that they took daily cold showers.
With the over 90 day period no remarkable differences were reported from illness days, which depended on whether cold showers were taken or not. Results showed that at least 29% of those who took daily cold showers were not as likely to call into work sick; and those who exercised regularly plus took cold showers were 54% less likely to have a sick day.
“Cold bathing is a common custom in many parts of the world. Ever since the introduction of civilized bathing, humans have experimented with water temperature variation to expose the body to extreme conditions… In ancient times, Roman bathing was based around the practice of moving through a series of heated rooms culminating in a cold plunge at the end. In modern times, the traditional ritual of the ‘frigidarium’ has been kept in most saunas and spas around the world.”
“Even though the vast majority of participants reported a variable degree of discomfort during cold exposure, the fact that 91 percent of participants reported the will to continue such routine (and 64 per cent actually did) is perhaps the most indicative of any health or work benefit.”
Cold showers may help to activate the brown fat in your body which generates heat to keep you warm, which may help with weight loss. Taking a cold shower after exercise can help you recover and minimize soreness. They can make you feel more alert and energize you. Cold showers improve overall blood circulation which can help with hypertension and hardening of the arteries while strengthening the immune system. You can improve acne with cold showers because it will tighten your cuticles and pores to prevent clogging, this will also decrease the chance of dirt accumulating in the scalp to improve your hair and skin.
Courtesy of Dr. Robert Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP. Among his accomplishments Dr. Goldman is the World Chairman-International Medical Commission, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board-A4M, Founder & Chairman-International Sports Hall of Fame, Co-Founder & Chairman-World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, President Emeritus-National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and Chairman-U.S. Sports Academy’s Board of Visitors. Dr. Goldman donates 80% of his time in charitable pursuits around the world, supporting sports, fitness and medical education for the sports and medical communities worldwide, visiting dozens of nations with a focus on youth mentorship.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.