The benefits of cold showers

Are cold showers healthy?

Oh yes! Cold showers have many health benefits. When we expose our bodies to the stress stimulus of cold water, we activate our entire body. This makes us feel more cheerful, energetic, fitter and healthier. Both your brain, your metabolism and your blood circulation are reawakened and even your entire biorhythm gets back on track.

Cold showering stimulates Among others, the blood circulation, reinforces the immune system, accelerates the recovery process, burns calories, promotes the mental strength and improves skin health. 

But then why don't you know more people who shower cold?

Hot water was invented in the 18th century. Since then, it seems as if we have collectively forgotten what wonderful benefits cold water can offer us. Our brains have become addicted, as it were, to the wonderful comfort of a hot shower or bath.

advantages of cold showering

Cold showering boosts your immune system

One of the main benefits is that it gives your immune system a huge boost. A study by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England indicates that when you frequently expose your body to cold water, the amount of white blood cells increases. Thus, your immune system briefly stimulated and it stands acute (very briefly) under increased stress. The production of white blood cells attacking diseases as they enter your body is ramped up. This will make your immune system stronger.

Advantages of cold showering

You won't know yourself that it really works wonders until you actually dive into the experience. Cold shower:

Sarah Matthijs

"I started cold showering a few months ago and it has really changed my life. Not only do I feel more energetic and alert after each cold shower, but it has also helped reduce my stress levels. It's like all the worries of the day just wash away with the cold water. I am so grateful for it!"

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You might start shivering at the very idea, but ending your shower with a cold jet every now and then is already greatly beneficial to your health.

The cold water takes your body physiologically out of its comfort zone because the balance is disturbed and because your body temperature drops drastically in a short period of time. Chances are, therefore, you will not be able to think clearly for a while during the first few times because all your body's energy and attention will go into repairing this 'disturbance'.

The more you practise this, the more your body will know how best to deal with this changing environment and the more you will experience its benefits. It's almost magical what it does to your mindset and your breathing.

Cold showering helps tremendously for your flexibility and imperturbability.

The cold workshop

We live at an unsustainable pace. "Busy" is the new normal. We struggle to unwind, put our minds on "stop" for a while and feel the need for a balanced life.

Surrender yourself to the newness, experience and space for growth within yourself. On the other side, the wisdom of expansion, evolution and change awaits. 

Challenge yourself to stretch yourself physically and mentally through cold training. Exposure to cold forces the body to start up microscopic repair systems, reducing the risk of disease and making us live years longer. 

Changes in your body and mindset

You are stronger than you think! You have to cross that border for a while because your body is obviously no longer used to that cold. But as soon as you cross the click made have in your head and you start to experience the changes in your body and in your mindset then you will soon find yourself wondering why you didn't start doing it the same way. And all because of a simple cold water spray and minimal adjustment to your daily routine.

Advantages of cold showering

5 tips to get started with a cold shower

Want to start cold showering? Then take these tips to heart before the icy water hits your skin.

  1. Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe in and out. As deeply, long and consciously as you can. Control brings calm, breathing provides that control. In this way, you are telling your nervous system that everything is okay and it doesn't have to go into survival mode. 
  2. Follow the pace that is feasible for you. Want to start cold right away but can't manage to get completely under the cold tap? Then start with your feet, ankles, hands and wrists and keep going that way. 
  3. Let the temperature drop slowly. Start with a hot shower and go from a tolerable temperature to a slightly unpleasant temperature. We work towards a temperature below 16 degrees. So you don't have to turn that hot tap completely to ice-cold water from the start.  
  4. Build up the minutes. For example, start with 30 seconds. Next time go for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes and so on, building up.
  5. Next step? Get guided in a ice bath!

What is the difference between a cold shower and an ice bath?

The effects are similar. The difference lies in the intensity for your body. When you step into an ice bath, the contact surface between your body and the cold water is much greater than in a cold shower.

It is therefore recommended to start with cold showers. Once you can handle this, an ice bath is the next step. This way, you challenge your body even more and get the most benefits from cold therapy.

We briefly summarise why cold showering really does work wonders

Jumping under an ice-cold shower, it takes some getting used to...However, it has so many benefits that it's worth getting started yourself.

First, it helps you to faster and to repair. It strengthens your immune system and makes your body better file is against diseases. Moreover, cold showering has been proven to help with burn from fat. Yes, that's right, those stubborn fat cells literally get a cold shower!

But there's more! Cold showering is also very good for your skin. It improves the blood circulation and helps drain waste products. You just feel fresher and more energetic after an invigorating cold shower. And hey, if you suffer from cold hands and feet, cold showers can improve that circulation and balance your body temperature.

During our cold training let's show you that it's your mental strength magnified and stress reduced. So if you are looking for a special way to challenge yourself and discover your inner strength, our cold workshop might just be your thing!

If you have a heart problem or low blood pressure, we recommend being careful with cold showers. Always listen to your body and stop if something doesn't feel right. 

Get under that cold shower and opt for the refreshing sensation of cold water. It will boost your health, make your blood vessels tingle and cool your body in no time. 

Believe me, it is really worth taking up this new habit. So breathe in, breathe out and dive in!

How does cold showering compare with other forms of cold therapy, such as ice baths or cryotherapy?

  1. Ice baths: a form of cold therapy where you immerse your body in ice water, usually at a temperature between 2-8 degrees. Compared to cold showers, the effect of an ice bath is much more intense because you are exposed to "extreme" cold directly and for a longer period of time. Taking an ice bath causes a strong physiological response such as increased heart rate, increased breathing rhythm and a strong mental reaction because of the intense cold. It helps reduce inflammation, promotes recovery and relieves pain. Taking an ice bath requires more time, preparation and space than cold showering.

  2. Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy is a treatment that involves exposing the whole body to extreme cold, usually through nitrogen vapour or chilled air. It is performed in special cryosaunas or cryochambers. Compared to cold showers and ice baths, cryotherapy is shorter in duration. During a cryotherapy session, one exposes the body to temperatures from -100°C to -150°C for a period of 2-3 minutes. It also offers benefits in terms of pain relief, improved sleep and increased energy levels. However, taking a cryotherapy session requires a specialised facility and can be costly. Via air, there is about 30 times less exchange of temperature than via water.

Although cold showers, ice baths and cryotherapy are all forms of cold therapy, there are some important differences between these approaches. Cold showering is more accessible and easier to perform, as it can be done in the privacy of your own home using only a jet of cold water. It is also a more gradual and gentle form of cold therapy, making it more suitable for people who are new to this practice or who do not have the ability or time to take an ice bath or cryotherapy session.

cold showering disadvantages

So are there no downsides to cold showering at all? Well, ...
What we do notice, and if you want to call it a drawback at all, is that 'cold' has already become too 'hot' again for some people and they want to go a step further. These people we are happy to guide in taking eand cold bath!

Potential disadvantages of cold showering:

  • Increased risk of hypothermia: Prolonged exposure to cold water can lead to hypothermia, especially if the ambient temperature is also low. It is important to limit the duration of a cold shower to minimise this risk.

  • Possible increase in blood pressure: Cold showering can lead to a temporary rise in blood pressure. While this is usually not a problem for healthy individuals, we recommend that people with high blood pressure or heart problems use it with caution.

  • Psychological impact: For some people, cold showering can be mentally stressful. This can cause stress, anxiety or discomfort.

Is cold showering dangerous?

No. The only possible risk is psychological. It can be uncomfortable if you are not used to it, though. If you go too cold too quickly, it's possible that you'll scare yourself off so you won't do it again.

If there is unprocessed trauma present in the body, this can create a huge barrier. Are you experiencing this? Then contact us for guidance.

To avoid this, we always recommend building up the cold shower step by step.

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Frequently asked questions around cold showers

Yes, cold showering can boost the immune system. Exposing the body to cold stimuli activates the autonomic nervous system and benefits the immune system.

If there is unprocessed trauma present in the body, this can create a huge barrier. Are you experiencing this? Then contact us for guidance.

To avoid this, we always recommend building up the cold shower step by step.

No, not EVERY day. If you shower cold every day, habituation occurs. This eventually prevents you from being taken out of your comfort zone, reducing its health benefits.

To better cope with cold in winter, it is best to start cold showering as early as autumn. This will also protect you better against illness.

You have a cold tingle from a water temperature of 16 or 17 degrees. Tap water in winter is certainly cold enough for a real cold stimulus.

Cold and heat stimuli improve the maintenance of your body temperature, allowing our brain, organs and muscles to keep functioning optimally in all conditions.

Absolutely. Cold showering probably even helps you get rid of your cold faster by activating your immune system. A cold shower in this case is a therapeutic remedy that can be combined with hypoxia breathing exercises and, for example, ginger, curcuma AND sufficient sleep (>8h).