Cold Water Bath Benefits: How good is a bath with cold water for health, what does the evidence say?
A comprehensive study from the Netherlands found that people who took cold baths took fewer vacations due to illness than those who took hot baths. But, sudden cold water shocks the body and it can be dangerous for people suffering from heart disease.
It is said that bathing in cold water has many benefits. Despite this, it can be difficult for many people to start the day by taking a cold water bath. Yet they keep trying to adopt this habit. It is said that bathing in cold water probably has many physical and mental benefits. Now Linde Bottoms Hatfield, Reader in Exercise and Health Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, has shared interesting information about this.
Bathing with cold water was started in Europe in the 19th century.
He said that bathing with cold water was started in the early 19th century for health reasons. Doctors then recommended this method be used by prison inmates and refugees to calm hot and fiery minds, control intense desires, and instill fear. Apart from this, in many places like Silicon Valley, people prefer to take a cold water bath for health reasons.
But what does the evidence show?
A comprehensive study from the Netherlands found that people who took cold baths took fewer vacations due to illness than those who took hot baths. More than three thousand people were divided into four groups. One group was asked to take a hot water bath every day, the second group to take a cold water bath for 30 seconds, the third group to take a cold water bath for 60 seconds and the fourth group to take 90 seconds of cold water bath. where did it go? Participants were asked to do this for a month. (Although 64 percent of people continued to take a cold shower because they liked it.)
Those who took a cold shower took less sick leave.
The study found that the group who took a cold shower had a 29 percent reduction in the number of times they took sick leave from work. Interestingly, bath time with cold water made no difference. The reason why people who take cold baths are less sick is not yet clear, but some researchers believe that this may be due to increased immunity. A study from the Czech Republic reported that when “young athletes” were given a cold water bath three times per week for six weeks, their immunity improved slightly. However, more extensive studies are needed to confirm this.
The nervous system remains active in cold water.
Coldwater also activates the sympathetic nervous system. This nervous system controls the ‘fight or run’ response (automatic physiological response to an event perceived as dangerous, stressful, or frightening). When this nervous system is activated by activities such as bathing in cold water, there is an increase in the noradrenaline hormone. When people take a cold water bath, this hormone is the biggest reason for the increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which improves health.
There is also an improvement in blood flow
Taking a bath with cold water also shows signs of improvement in blood flow. Blood flow to the skin decreases when exposed to cold water. When cold water stops falling on the body, the body has to warm itself, so there is an increase in blood flow to the surface of the skin. Some scientists believe that it possibly improves blood flow. A post-exercise cold shower study found that blood flow to the muscles improved after four weeks.
One study Trusted Source even indicated that cold showers could make the body more resistant to certain types of cancer. And a clinical trial Trusted Source in the Netherlands showed that people who took cold showers were called out of work for less.
Some evidence also shows that bathing with cold water also helps in reducing weight. One study found that bathing in cold water with a temperature of 14 ° C increased metabolism by 350 percent. Apart from the physical benefits, taking a bath with cold water can also benefit mental health. There is a theory that bathing in cold water increases mental alertness due to stimulation of the ‘fight or run’ response. The use of cold water on the face and neck is helpful for improving brain function in older adults. Taking a cold shower can also be helpful in dealing with depression.
Bathing with cold water is beneficial for health
There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that taking a cold dip or a cold shower is good for your health – even though the reasons are unclear before you start taking a cold shower, you should know that there are also some risks. Sudden cold water shocks the body and can be dangerous for people suffering from heart disease and can also lead to heart attack or irregular heartbeat.
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