Published: 05/01/2015 - Updated: 05/18/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Showering or bathing with cold water is considered to be a very healthy practice, and is even recommend by health professionals. But let’s take a look at what these good effects are, and what any disadvantages may come with bathing in cold water:
Effects of bathing in cold water
- Cold water stimulates the immune system.
- Skin stays much healthier and younger.
- Temperature changes on the skin put the immune system on alert, which activates defense mechanisms and stimulates internal organs.
- It is recommended for people with circulation problems because this practice promotes good blood circulation and helps spread out nutrients and oxygen more efficiently through the body.
- Cold water helps calm rashes, eczema and itching, and prevents skin from drying out with hot water.
- Helps relax states of excessive nervousness or stress, although if you’re not used to it, this could produce the opposite effect.
- Helps wake you up and makes the body alert, which is recommended in the morning or after exercising.
- Cold water causes vascular contraction, which helps prevent and cure varicose veins.
- Cold water showers cause vascular contraction, which decongests internal organs internal heat flows and becomes stored. This could cause toxins and contaminants to accumulate in the body. The cold water helps start flow and release of these toxins through the pores.
Contraindications of bathing in cold water
Cold water may not be recommendable in the following situations:
- Individuals with cardiac or thyroid problems.
- If you’re trying to go to sleep, it’s best to shower with warm water. If you want a more accentuated relaxing effect, exercise for 20 minutes a day and bathe with warm water. During the morning, bathe with cold water to revive your body and to activate circulation.
- Avoid sudden cold showers. For example, it is not a good idea to submerge yourself in cold water baths because this can create a strong stress in the body, and can bring cardiac rhythms out of sync. This is aggressive not only for the heart, but for the lungs as well. It is important that you slowly immerse yourself, getting the body used to it slowly.
- Lot’s of people recommend cold baths, especially after athletic activity. According to Pedro Garcia, physical trainer and author of “Sports and Physical Health”, says that a warm shower “warm baths may make you feel better after exercise”, but he also warns that excessive shower heat could reduce blood pressure too much, and could even cause the muscles to relax too much.
How to best use the benefits of cold water
The best way to take advantage of cold water is to start with a warm bath and slowly reduce the water’s temperature until lukewarm or cold. You must do this slowly so that the body gets used to it. This is most beneficial during warm temperatures, or the summer. We also advise these baths during winter, although you shouldn’t start trembling from cold because this could be counterproductive.
Are cold water baths good for children?
Getting children used to bathing with cooler, rather than hot water, is a good ritual. You must remember to do this slowly, especially if the child is used to bathing in warm or hot water. You should slowly lower the temperature, making sure they feel comfortable in the cool water, and are not shaking. Having children swim in cool water during the summer, for example, in healthy. This will help increase their defenses, which will prevent them from getting sick as often. Do not bathe your children with excessively warm water. They should bathe at least two hours before going to sleep so that their hair and scalp can dry. This will prevent them from sleeping with a wet head, which could cause health problems.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 05/18/2018
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