There has been a belief that has stretched back as far as the time of Hippocrates that cold baths could treat illness and provide a good platform for healthy living. In modern times, this belief still runs strong, but is there any research or evidence for it? Our NYC chiro investigates some research.
Well, a study was done by a team of researchers from the Netherlands who conducted research on a sample of 2800 people. This sample was split into 4 groups. Group 1 occupants were asked to take a 30 second cold shower each day, the second a 60 second cold shower, the third, 90 seconds and the fourth to take a regular hot shower.
This sample was asked to do this for a period of one month.
It was found that about 80% of the group maintained and completed the study and interestingly, almost 60% continued taking cold showers after the study had completed.
The results showed that those in the cold showers groups found a better quality of life or wellbeing including a 29% drop in sick days from work in comparison to the regular showered group.
Other results noticed were an increase in energy levels, akin to have drunk a caffeinated drink.
The really interesting note, and this is great news to those who are considering taking cold showers, is that the results were very similar across the three cold shower groups. In other words, it’s just as beneficial to take a 30 second shower as it is a 60 second or 90 second one. So you get all the same benefits for less “pain”.
While the sample size and length of study is still small and the researchers can only speculate why cold showers are beneficial, clearly there is something to taking cold showers as close to two thirds of the cold shower groups continued taking them after the study was finished.
The researchers did speculate that when the cold causes the body to shiver, hormones are increased in the body to counter the effects which could positively affect the immune system. Another theory was that the neurological system gets some kind of benefit and finally, the effect of cold showers was purely psychological in that the participants knew what the study was about and thus implanted this seed of positivity in them.
Finally, researchers even considered the possibility that cold showers has a similar effect on the body as doing regular physical exercise, especially when they considered the reduction in sickness compared to the regular shower.
Despite the study, it is clear that more comprehensive research is needed to fully understand the effects of taking cold showers has on the body, but there is perhaps sufficient evidence to suggest it does pay a positive part in people’s lives.
So why don’t you try a cold shower each day? Just for 30 seconds and see how it helps you. Perhaps even have your regular warm shower and finish off with 30 seconds of cold water?
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