It’s becoming weirder and weirder with the different things published that can make a person healthier. Researchers have found that a cold shower can lead to fewer sick days. While the research comments that individuals who took a cold shower for at least 30 seconds daily for 30 days reported 29% less of sick days (54% when coupled with exercise) compared to the control group, actual output of this research is that participants who took a cold shower reported the same number of sick days as others. The only difference was that, either the sickness remained for a lesser number of days, they felt more energetic or they were able to push aside the sickness factor and function just as normally.
The Scientific Path
Cold temperatures activate brown or good fat in your body and makes your shiver which is an automatic response to keep your body temperature up. This activates our fight-or-flight response and causes hormones such as cortisol to increase before we fall back into the relaxation mode.
Brown fat helps to:
Cold shower has been an often-debated topic since olden times regarding its health effects. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed cold baths for his patients and in ancient Rome, individuals passed through several rooms with increasing temperatures and finally drenched themselves with cold water in a cool pool. This kind of practice is still followed in spas worldwide and athletes too take ice baths to reduce inflammation/soreness and improve injury recovery times. Ice baths help cool the body temperature during hot summer days and to know more on its benefits, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
The study included participants who were not used to taking shower in cold water daily but interested in trying so. Also, the duration of the cold-water splurge did not matter-the reduction in the number of sick days remained the same over the 30-, 60- or 90- second periods. While some report improved productivity at work, researchers attribute it to the less number of sick days and not ‘actual’ productivity at work.
Most of the participants wanted to continue taking a cold-water bath even after the study period despite having benefits or not. Ill or healthy, they feel that a cold shower helps to kick-start the day with ample energy and high spirits.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.