Showering provides many benefits to the body, both physically and psychologically. The impact on the latter is well-documented. However, less is known about the impact showering has on the physical form. One lesser-known impact showering can have on the body is weight loss.
The temperature of your shower is what counts.
“Research has shown that cold showers, and being exposed to cold temperatures in general, increases our metabolic rate and stimulates the generation of brown fat,” reports Holland and Barrett.
According to the health body, brown fat is a specific type of fat tissue that generates energy by burning calories.
Limited evidence supports this claim.
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If you suffer from depression, cold showers could help improve your mood. Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries to relieve stress.
“Having regular cold showers is thought to have the same sort of effect, as they trigger electrical impulses in the brain that help to boost your energy levels, making you feel more alert,” explains Holland and Barrett.
What’s more, showering can give your immune system an added boost.
According to a study carried out in the Netherlands, cold showers can help increase productivity and reduce sick days.
Between January and March 2015, 3,018 people aged 18 to 65 took a hot shower then used applications of cold water for 30 to 90 seconds.
Meanwhile, at the same time, one research group took warm showers as usual and didn’t use cold water at all.
Although those who took cold showers were less likely (29% less likely) to call in sick for work, they didn’t report fewer sick days.
The researchers concluded that cold showers might make a person’s illness feel less severe, allowing them to continue with their daily activities.
How often should you shower?
The jury is out on the frequency of showering because many personal factors must be taken into account.
“While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often),” says Harvard Health.
The health body continues: “Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.”