Taking a Two-Minute Cold Shower Can Significantly Improve Your Day
Taking a cold shower a few times a week might sound like an intense habit to take up, but if you want to noticeably improve how you feel day to day, it’s one of the simplest and least time-consuming ways to do it.
Spending just two to five minutes in water below 70°F is one of the most invigorating ways to start your day, keep your organ systems in working order, and get into a positive and productive frame of mind.
The Health Benefits of Cold Showers
Cold Shower Benefit #1: Be Happier
It’s hard to imagine taking a cold shower and being in a good mood afterwards if you haven’t tried it yet, but the cold water triggers your brain to release more of the hormones that make you feel happy. When you take a cold shower, your skin’s numerous thermoreceptors sense the cold and send a rush of electrical signals to your brain: a stimulating jolt of activity that your brain repays by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are sometimes called the happy hormone because they promote feelings of positivity. By providing your body with this “thermal exercise,” a daily cold shower of 2-3 minutes (with a 5 minute ramp up to adapt to the temperature) can boost your mood and relieve symptoms of depression.
Cold Shower Benefit #2: Be More Alert
If you start your day with two minutes of cold water to cap off your morning shower, you’ll feel alert and invigorated afterwards. It’s faster than brewing coffee and waiting for it to kick in, and it’s great for your system, too! Starting your day with a cold shower brings your brain online fast in the mornings for the same reasons it improves your mood: when the cold water hits your skin, the sheer volume of electrical signals traveling between your skin and your brain makes you more alert and energized.
Cold Shower Benefit #3: Be More Energized
The human body evolved to survive harsh conditions like extreme temperatures by adapting to correct for them and keep you alive. So when unusually cold water hits your skin and starts bringing down your core body temperature, your blood vessels constrict on your body’s surface, while the deeper tissues increase the rate of circulation.
When the cold only lasts a few minutes, you reap the health benefits of this mini-workout for your organ systems, resulting in better circulation, improved physical performance, and more efficient delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your organs.
Cold Shower Benefit #4: Enjoy Greater Focus and Concentration
One organ that receives a significant increase in oxygen when you take a cold shower is your brain. More oxygen in the brain stimulates brain activity, improving clarity, concentration, and focus while aiding neuroplasticity.
Cold Shower Benefit #5: Become More Resilient
Mark Twain once said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you all day. Taking a cold shower in the morning is probably not nearly as unpleasant as eating a life frog, but it’s not an easy thing to make yourself do. Simply choosing to do something difficult early in the morning improves your stress tolerance and resilience.
For more topics related to health and wellness, follow along with our Hospitality Health ER blog! We’ve recently covered other topics relating to your body’s adaptations to temperature extremes in “The Surprising Health Benefits of Saunas” and “Can Summer Heat Literally Drive People Crazy? Exploring the Mental Health Impact of High Temperatures.” For giveaways, updates, and COVID-19 tips, like us on Facebook and Instagram.