Cold bathing or showering is a common custom in many parts of the world and there are several health benefits. After the introduction of civilized bathing, humans started experimenting with the variation in the temperature of water to expose the body to extreme cold or hot. Even in today’s modern world, the traditional ritual of cold bathing called frigidarium is followed in some spas and saunas in countries around the world.
Cold bathing is claimed to offer multiple positive benefits for our health in terms of an improvement in the functions of the immune system and cardiovascular circulation. Here is a brief discussion about the benefits of cold showers and how cold bathing could help improve your immunity.
Benefits of Cold Showers for the Immune System
Reduced Days of Sickness
Research studies have revealed that short-term exposure to cold water could increase the concentrations of some hormones in the brain. Moreover, the cumulative effect of a routine cold shower has been found to create a positive impact on sickness, work productivity, and the quality of life of a person.
A routine cold shower was found to lead to a statistically significant reduction in self-reported sickness absences from work and school in the participants of this study. It may also help to boost workplace productivity, possibly by enhancing the functions of the immune system and brain.
The benefits of cold showers also include increased resistance against illnesses and strengthening of the body’s defense mechanisms. These benefits are evident in the form of reduced days of sickness as well as an overall improvement in the quality of life.
Effect on Immune Cells
Research studies aimed at investigating whether or not the immune system could be activated by the non-infectious stimuli like cold showers have revealed encouraging results. The studies have suggested that cold showers could result in an improvement in the physiological functions of the body.
A routine cold water immersion for about 1 hour on a daily basis was found to increase the proportions of immune cells such as monocytes and lymphocytes. An increase in the concentration of certain acute-phase proteins, including haemopexin and haptoglobin, was also observed.
After about 6 weeks of repeated cold water immersions, a rise in the concentrations of total T lymphocytes, T helper cells, T suppressor cells, and activated T and B lymphocytes was noticed. These benefits of cold water immersion were also accompanied by a decline in the concentrations of alpha 1-antitrypsin.
The results of these studies have clearly indicated that cold showers could help support the functions of the immune system by increasing the number of immune cells and making those cells more efficient at fighting disease-causing agents.
One research study conducted to assess the benefits of cold showers has revealed that people who take a cold shower on a regular basis are 29% less likely to fall sick than those who take baths in warm water.
A marked improvement was also noticed in the disease-fighting ability of the immune system of people who took a cold shower every day.
The researchers concluded that cold bathing or cold showers may also make illnesses less severe, allowing patients to continue with their routine activities with better ease.
Moreover, this study found that there was no remarkable difference in the impact on the immunity between people who took the cold showers for the variable periods of 30, 60, or 90 seconds. This indicated that a cold shower could improve the functions of the immune system even at a shorter duration.
Some researchers have theorized that cold showers could have mood-boosting benefits as well. It is postulated that a cold shower can stimulate the activities of the sympathetic nervous system and increase the release of neurotransmitters like endorphins and norepinephrine. As a result, people are less likely to experience the symptoms of depression and sadness.
The benefits of cold showers for the immune system can be enhanced further by using BioPro-Plus. BioPro-Plus is an immunity-balancing supplement that could support the defense functions regulated by the immune system and help to maintain hormonal balance. It could also help reduce inflammation and protect against infections by enabling the immune cells to work more efficiently against disease-causing agents.