Cold showers: why you should be having them - Baz & Co Skincare

Cold showers: why you should be having them

Curious about cold water therapy? You’re right to be: thousands upon thousands of people have, in recent years, started turning to the thing that we all have in our bathrooms – cold water – to make a marked difference on both their mental and physical health. With the wellness industry shoving product upon product under our noses, it’s refreshing to know that we can do genuine good for ourselves by turning the shower all the way cold. But what, exactly, are the benefits? 

Apart from the obvious fact that jumping in a cold shower will physically wake you up faster than it takes you to turn on your coffee machine, having the ritual of knowing that you’re doing something great for your mind and body as soon as you wake up can be genuinely beneficial. Mornings can be rough: you’re likely woken up to a cortisol-spiking alarm clock (or child) and subsequently spend the rest of your day chasing your tail, feeling somewhere between fight and flight with a heavy dose of anxiety thrown in for good measure. But what if you could put a pin in some of that anxiety by just stepping into your bathroom and turning your shower down to cold? 

One of the godfathers of cold water therapy is the motivational speaker and extreme athlete, Wim Hof – aka The Iceman. Wim has made an entire career for himself by waxing lyrical about the incredible physical and mental benefits of cold water. He once said “if we always choose comfort, we will never learn the deepest capabilities of our mind and body” and to us, this is the perfect way to look at the cold shower. The easy thing is to keep that water at your comfort level, enjoy your shower and call it a day. But by stepping out of your comfort zone and getting into an icey shower, you’re actually doing the most amazing things for your mind. You’re retraining it to be able to withstand difficult things and you’re helping your body to follow suit. It sounds counterintuitive, but the mental strength it takes to withstand cold water for a prolonged period of time is a very real thing. Cold water puts small amounts of stress on your body, which enables your nervous system to harden and therefore be able to withstand the daily anxieties that take place outside of the shower a little better. It’s about consistency and willpower, though, and taking one cold shower won’t immediately reduce your stress levels. Do it everyday, though, and you’ll eventually find those previously mentioned cortisol-spiking morning thoughts just a little less intrusive. Turning the tap to blue can trigger electrical impulses into the brain that will also make a huge difference to your energy levels, alertness and ability to cope with stress by balancing out the natural serotonin in the body.

As we step into autumn and winter, making the active choice to get cold can seem a little odd, but hear us out. What if we told you that cold showers could make a difference to the pesky coughs and colds that we all pick up in winter’s most freezing months? Regular cold water therapy is said to have a profound benefit on the immune system because it can multiply the white blood cells (which are key players in your natural immunity because they work to fight off bacteria, viruses and disease) in the body. A recent clinical trial that took place in Norway found that regular cold showers meant a 29% reduction in people calling in sick from work. Another physical benefit? Weight loss. Yes, that’s right. Research has shown that cold water exposure can burn fat by speeding up your metabolism and generating brown fat, which is the type of fat that burns extra calories in order to keep warm. 

It’s important to think about how you take the idea of ritual into your cold shower. You don’t want to jump into it, scream and shout your way through it, temporarily stop breathing, forget to wash your body and then question the very decision to turn the tap to blue in the first place. Instead, it’s about using your breath to slowly work your way through the cold; to manage the mind and help guide it through the process of staying in the shower longer than you’d first like. And as you’ll know by now, we’re all about this idea of a holistic routine. All of our BAZ & CO products have been specifically designed to work with cold water as well as warm water. The strong aromatherapy from the natural basil and other ingredients such as grapefruit and spearmint can make a huge difference to your desire to actually stay in the cold shower for a prolonged period of time. Our advice? Start somewhere. Even if it’s just turning the tap cold for the last 10 seconds of your shower and lathering up our Restore and Awaken body wash and breathing in the incredible smells. Over time, you’ll be genuinely excited to fire up that cold tap because you’ll appreciate just how different you feel afterwards, in both mind and body. And if you’ve yet to try BAZ & CO, let it be a part of your new cold shower ritual. Trust us, you won’t regret it.