Cold showers may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But aside from saving costs, it also offers health benefits. But how healthy is taking cold showers and how long should you stand under that cold stream?

According to the Nibud, a shower typically uses 65 liters of hot water during an 8-minute shower. This costs 0.55 euros with a gas boiler and 0.68 euros with an electric boiler. While this may not break the bank, if you shower at least once a day, you could end up spending around 200 to 250 euros a year. Wouldn’t it be nice to save some of that money?

Four questions about cold showers
Is taking cold showers healthier than warm showers?
Determining whether one is truly healthier than the other is difficult. Both types of showers have their own benefits. A warm shower can reduce stress and relax your muscles, while a cold shower can make you more alert and may be better for your hair and skin. However, an interesting conclusion from a study emerged: people who took cold showers reported being 29 percent less likely to call in sick compared to those who opted for warm showers.

This study involved 3018 participants aged between 18 and 65 who were asked to take cold showers. They were not accustomed to the cold and were assigned different durations. The group that did not take cold showers as part of the study reported falling ill more frequently.

What are the benefits of cold showers?
In addition to the alertness mentioned earlier, cold showers may also have a positive effect on your skin and hair. Your hair may become shinier, and your skin smoother. This is because warm water washes away essential oils. Research also suggests that people who regularly take cold showers have a stronger immune system. Furthermore, muscles are said to recover faster after a cold plunge or shower, and it may reduce fatigue.

A cold shower can also help alleviate pain, although the effect is mild. Think of it as applying an ice pack to a sprained ankle, but all over your body. Lastly, and importantly, taking cold showers can improve your mood. Researchers believe that the cold increases the availability of neurotransmitters like noradrenaline and endorphins.

How long should you take a cold shower?
You are not obligated to take cold showers, especially if you are not used to them. Even five seconds may feel like an accomplishment. However, for beginners, a guideline is to start with 30 seconds. Begin with that and consider using a shower timer to keep track of time. If you find that you can comfortably endure those 30 seconds after some time, you can increase it to 60, 90, or maybe even 120 seconds.

How do you start taking cold showers?
Starting to take cold showers is simple – you just have to do it. You may be startled by the cold water the first few times, but remember to focus on your breathing. You may be inclined to breathe quickly and shallow, but deep and slow breathing is recommended. This will help you stay focused and somewhat alleviate your body from stress. Additionally, you can start by placing a foot under the tap, then your entire leg, arm, and so on. You can also begin with a lukewarm temperature and gradually decrease it. This way, you can build up gradually. And as mentioned earlier, you don’t have to start with a five-minute cold shower, begin with 30 seconds.

In addition to the benefits of cold showers, incorporating this practice into your daily routine may have various positive impacts on your overall well-being. So, why not give it a try and see how it can benefit you in the long run?