When did you last have a cold shower? We’re guessing it was when your boiler broke, or your housemates used up all the hot water. But a growing number of people are actually choosing to have them when they wake up in the mornings.
The pastime is nothing new, with evidence suggesting the ancient Greeks and Romans were fans of a chilly plunge, but cold showers seem to be having a revival. So, should we all be doing it?
Dr Abigail Rickard, an associate professor at the University of Greenwich, says cold bathing has a plethora of health benefits.
“The effects of cold showers are positive for the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, musculoskeletal system, giving us an immune boost, giving us better mental health, giving us a boost to our metabolism, potentially burning brown fats and potentially even making you more beautiful,” she tells HuffPost UK.
The very first thing you’ll notice when you have a cold shower is that you have a sudden urge to take a deep breath, Dr Rickard explains, and despite the initial shock, your heart rate will start to slow.
“You’ve got a lot of blood in the centre of your body, primed because it’s got lots of oxygen meaning that your brain, your heart and your lungs are working at their optimum,” she explains.
Unsurprisingly, these effects make a cold shower ideal if you struggle to wake up in the morning – but a less obvious benefit may be discovered when you look in the mirror.
“Having a shower with cold water will close pores in your skin and also make the cuticles in the hair lay flat so your hair will appear glossy, shiny and healthy,” Dr Rickard explains.
So, what are you waiting for? Turn that tap to cold every now and then, boost your health, and save some pennies on the heating bill in the process.
Watch the full video above to hear Dr Shushma Malik and Dr Abigail Rickard discuss the benefits of cold showers.