5 benefits of bathing with cold water during winter

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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You might think we are going nuts, but according to doctors, bathing with cold water has its own share of benefits.

Your first thought must be: who bathes that often during winter, brah? But irrespective of the season, bathing is an absolute essential, especially when you are in a world that has been hijacked by Covid-19 variants. So, we are sorry but you don’t have an option!

In fact, we might just make it more dreadful for you, because what we are about to suggest might make you go brrr! And what’s that? Well, it’s bathing with cold water.

No, we are not going bonkers because experts have validated this claim!
Don’t believe us? Read it for yourself!

Why opt for cold water?

Getting goosebumps already? Well, we understand that completely but Dr Vipul Rustgi, MBBS MD Medicine and a consultant physician and diabetologist at Apollo Spectra, Delhi tells Health Shots that bathing with cold water during winter is completely normal.

bathing with cold water
Bathing is a must, even if it’s winter. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Bathing is essential, in order to maintain good personal hygiene. It is said to relieve muscle tension, promote blood circulation, boost immunity, remove toxins from the body, and reduce stress.

“Moreover, bathing with cold water in winter is more helpful than with hot water. Doing so can help you to manage a host of problems in a successful way,” he suggests.

Here are five surprising benefits of bathing with cold water during winter:

  1. It enhances blood circulation

    Cold showers allow the blood to move to your organs, in order to keep you warm. Talking about a hot shower, it causes the blood to move towards the surface of the skin, reversing the effect of a cold shower. Bathing with cold water can be helpful in making the arteries stronger and lowering blood pressure. Thus, you will be able to stay fit and fine throughout your life.

  2. It’s great for your skin and hair

    “Did you know? Hot water bathing during those chilly days can dry out the skin, leading to skin irritation and rashes. One will even suffer from dandruff issues. A cold shower tends to tighten the cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged. Are you aware? It can also seal pores in the skin and scalp, and prevent the dirt from getting in. Hence, the natural oils won’t get stripped from the skin,” suggests Dr Rustgi.

    bathing with cold water
    Cold water is a blessing for your skin and hair. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

  3. Yes, cold water helps in boosting immunity

    If you bathe with cold water, there will be a higher percentage of white blood cells and a high metabolic rate. This is because the body tries to warm itself up during a cold shower, and in the process, tends to release white blood cells and activates one’s immune system.

  4. It aids faster muscle recovery

    “Cold showers will help one to overcome muscle soreness. It is like cold compression,” says Dr Rustgi.

  5. Cold showers help in dealing with depression

    Cold water has a positive effect and enhances one’s mood. Thus, you will feel much more relaxed after you’ve stepped out from a bath.

    bathing with cold water
    If you are low on immunity then give cold bath a skip. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are some contradictions

Having said that, if you are low on immunity, bathing with cold water might be a bad idea. Cold water can lead to a plethora of health problems such as cold, cough, pneumonia, irritation in the throat (as it is antagonistic to body temperature conditions), and fever. So, it is imperative to consult a doctor before opting for cold water.

People with comorbidities need to avoid it. Do not take a cold water bath, if you have a fever, heart disease, or even high blood pressure, as doing so can worsen your health.

Bathing with cold water during winter might be a weird thing to do, but you can definitely give it a shot!

Will you?

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