Taking cold showers – 6 great effects that people who shower warm miss
This ‘cold breeze’ is an easy and underestimated way to better health, a stronger immune system, fat burning and performance. I’ll show you six valuable effects of taking cold showers. I also give you three steps on how to master this challenge!
Why is a cold shower healthy?
Ever since Wim Hof’s book “The Way of The Iceman: How The Wim Hof Method Creates Radiant, Longterm Health” *, we know that cold can have a very special effect on our body.
Cold is a sensation that people no longer have to experience these days – an apparent advantage of modernity. After all, freezing is uncomfortable and “makes you sick” (in fact it doesn’t do it automatically). Comfort is what makes your body unstable and sick.
Your body is exposed to a few real stresses in everyday life. Well-dosed shocks are a good signal for your body. A sign that requires adaptation and optimization of the system. As the saying goes a bit exaggerated: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!”
Cold is a signal for the body, information: “I’m running out of energy, make more energy! Burn more fat! Many natural scientists have even theorized that cold is the natural signal for the body to burn excess body fat and convert it into energy. In a way, they are right, because cold is really a strong stimulus for burning fat.
This is exactly what cold can do
A targeted, short-term shock that forces the body to make improvements. These bring about positive changes:
1- Multiplication of the mitochondria (more small power plants in your cells that produce energy)
2- Boosting the cardiovascular system (blood circulation),
3- Better fat burning,
4- Increased testosterone,
5- Enhanced muscle growth
6- Less freezing in winter thanks to more brown adipose tissue
7- Better thyroid values
8- Stronger immune system
If you don’t have a cooling chamber or an ice bath, you can at least take a cold shower to start these processes. Scientists assumed that the effects described will start at around 59 ° Fahrenheit.
Let’s take a closer look at the effects:
Showering cold – 6 unbeatable benefits
If there is only one small thing that hides so much potential, then it is your duty to seize this opportunity. Showering cold can give you extreme advantages in the simplest way. So be sure to read through the following benefits of a cold shower! Then you will take the step voluntarily and even look forward to the cold shower every morning!
1 Strengthen willpower
Whenever you move out of your comfort zone, you demonstrate your will. The more often you overcome yourself, the stronger your willpower becomes. Daily cold showering is a great way to put the ‘inner coward’ in chains. Those who face such a challenge convey an important message to their subconscious: I am able to master all things!
I can tell you that every day it will take some effort to turn the regulator to blue and gear it up. It gets a little easier, but it remains uncomfortable. The further we move towards winter, the more difficult it becomes. The water is getting colder, the ego is struggling all the more.
Nevertheless, there is a certain morning routine, you no longer think about the upcoming situation – you do it and feel how your body begins to live. The daily discipline helps you to strengthen your willpower.
2 Release valuable hormones
The attraction of a cold shower triggers hormonal reactions. These hormones are responsible for the positive effects of cold: noradrenaline, adiponectin, irisin and endorphins.
Noradrenaline is also known as the flow hormone and, in a way, the good, big brother of adrenaline. You feel norepinephrine when you give up completely in one activity and no longer notice anything around you.
It increases your concentration, mobilizes your energy reserves, and offers your nervous system a turbo start to the day.
Serotonin is also released in response to the cold and works in the central nervous system. Not only does it make you happy after a cold shower – it reduces pain very effectively. So efficiently that they use cold very often in natural medicine to reduce pain.
Adiponectin forms in the adipose tissue and has a property that you will like – it will get rid of your love handles. The hormone can stimulate our metabolism, increase the number of mitochondria and strengthen the efficiency of our muscular system.
Adiponectin further increases the musculature’s ability to absorb glucose – thus lowering blood sugar.
Adiponectin is also a possible “remedy” for cardiovascular diseases.
As I have already described above: A targeted shock leads to improvements in the system. In this case, these are caused by adiponectin: it repairs cell damage, removes old and dead cells (keyword cancer) and protects the blood vessels.
Irisin is a messenger substance that the muscle normally releases through hard training. But taking a cold shower is a much more effective way.
Irisin indirectly contributes to higher muscle growth. It also transforms white to brown adipose tissue.
Fat is not the same as fat: brown adipose tissue sits between your muscles and even helps to burn fat, since it is very active itself. This contains numerous mitochondria that stimulate metabolism!
Endorphin is one of the hormones that make you stagger with happiness. A trigger for the release of happiness hormones is when you overcome yourself. Taking a cold shower requires a lot of effort, because your body actually defends itself against it.
But once you have overcome the hurdle, you will be proud and automatically release endorphin. A study showed that a 5-minute cold shower can help alleviate depressive symptoms when used two to three times a week.
3 Wake up faster
A surge of cold water provides an immediate reflex. The muscles contract and we breathe quickly and deeply, and your cells fill with oxygen.
Because we perceive the cold stimulus directly through the skin, this activates our energy systems immediately with the clear message: release energy and produce heat.
Your body instantly switches into an active and awake state. An additional cup of coffee can then have a much better effect. Combined with a little movement and light, this results in the ultimate wake-up call for those who need an extra boost in the morning!
4 Stimulate metabolism and freeze less
Taking a cold shower can help you build more brown adipose tissue. This type of fat is extremely active and even enormously good for your health, as studies have shown.
Accordingly, it contributes to a functioning metabolism, which in turn ensures that you burn more energy.
Those who freeze a lot have much more sustainable options besides tea and a warm blanket. Whoever starts exposing himself to the cold in late summer/autumn toughens himself.
Our body is able to deal with the cold. If he is confronted with this condition every day, then he will definitely adapt.
Of course, we also freeze with a cold shower, but in this case, we do it with a certain intention and a certain goal.
Namely to train our body and to force it to adapt. We are prepared for this and will not freeze later if the thermometer falls below 68 ° Fahrenheit. We can also save the high heating costs.
5 Increase your concentration
This point is based on my personal experience. A cold shower can increase your concentration. Such a crisp cold surge immediately ensures that you sharpen your focus.
Because the body is a bit surprised, it uses the reserves to solve the cold problem. In retrospect, this leaves your head clear.
During the cold shower, you have no resources to concentrate on the little things of everyday life. Meaning showering cold does silence the many voices and thoughts in your head. What a great thing!
After a cold shower, I can immediately think clearly and focused. Unnecessary and inhibiting thoughts say goodbye in the drain.
The increased blood flow through the cold also floods the brain with fresh oxygen! This also contributes to an alert mind.
6 A stronger immune system
Cold water toughens, making the body and mind more robust. But your immune system also benefits! Have you ever noticed that cold showers (hardened people) get much less sick?
Scientists have often shown in studies that cold water makes your immune system stronger. The cold stimulus activates the first line of defense of your immune system, the so-called phagocytes.
Neutrophils and monocytes in particular benefit and are significantly more active, which has the great effect that pathogens are found faster and more effectively.
Feeling wimpy? 3 steps to get started immediately
I was a passionate warm shower taker myself. The effects of the cold shower, however, made me turn the slider to blue. If you also want to achieve the described health effects in this simple way, you can carry out the following steps:
Step 1: Getting used to it slowly
You should give your body time to get used to the cold. Therefore, in the beginning, you shower at a normal, warm or hot temperature and only turn the regulator 50% towards blue during the last minute. With each shower you get a little closer to the blue. It is also okay to always start hot and then turn to cold after 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Breathing training
The colder it gets, the more important physical and mental preparation becomes. Wim Hof and his special Wim Hof breathing technique are particularly well known. In the book Never Get Sick Again: Healthy, strong and efficient through the power of the cold *, he gives the most important tips for dealing with the freezing temperatures.
The so-called ‘Iceman’ teaches a special breathing technique that makes the cold more bearable. He mainly uses it for ice bathing, but, of course, the principle also works with the cold shower.
At Wim Hof breathing you start with 15 long and deep breaths. Then prepare yourself for the cold with 30 more breaths.
Inhale strongly through your nose with all breaths and let the air escape through your mouth. Do this loudly at a fast pace (not hectic).
This breathing technique prepares the body for the situation and it already provides energy.
If you then take a shower, you can continue to breathe calmly and relaxed, your body already has a lot of oxygen, the shock reflex is not necessary. Instead, focus on a calm and relaxed mental attitude.
Step 3: Routine and progression
In the third step, you should definitely maintain the routine. The body needs repetition to adapt to the cold. The morning routine is best suited for this.
Of course, we will always have to overcome ourselves when we take a cold shower, but the habit makes this step a little easier. The ego will fall silent at some point.
Then it is time to increase the requirements. For this, you have the opportunity to take a longer shower for the first time. Because the temperature only goes down to a limited extent.
If you start now in late summer, there is also a natural progression, because the water automatically gets colder as the seasons go by. If you want it even colder, the only option left is ice baths.
Grab a couple of ice packs and put them in the bath, you can also take a morning bath in a lake. If you have the opportunity, you should take advantage of this.
Cold is still an important attraction for the body today. Even in times of heating, fireplace, cozy blankets and the like, we should give the body the chance to get natural stimuli. He lacks many of these today, and the diseases of civilization are a direct result of it.
Cold can do so much: fat burning, muscle growth, regeneration and mental strength. You should use these effects for yourself. The icy feeling when taking cold showers is also a good stimulant.
It is practical and feasible for everyone. If you slowly get used to it, you will notice how quickly the body adapts to it. Our bodies are very efficient if we motivate them to do so.
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