Muscle soreness, perceived fatigue, muscle damage and inflammation are all reduced or diminished by a cold tub bath or shower.

A cold shower might entice after a sweltering, sweaty day tackling summer yard work. Yet, medicalnewstoday.com in July proclaimed four main health benefits of a cold shower:

1. Increased metabolism, because the body is working to stabilize temperature
2. Immune system booster
3. Mood enhancer
4. A way to alleviate inflammation and soreness after exertion

Regarding the latter claim, Runner’s World asserted in May, “Yeah, it’s going to suck, but freezing your butt off for a few minutes just might help you be a better runner.”

Muscle soreness, perceived fatigue, muscle damage and inflammation are all reduced or diminished by a cold tub bath or shower.

A Science Direct-published study, “Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression” determined, “Exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the blood level of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline and to increase synaptic release of noradrenaline in the brain as well. Additionally, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.”

However, if cold water is too much of a shock to the system, some studies promote a hot-(or warm)-to-cold approach.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health published a study in 2016 that concluded “A routine (hot-to-) cold shower resulted in a statistical reduction of self-reported sickness absence …” The study reminds that “Cold bathing is a common custom in many parts of the world. In ancient times, Roman bathing was based around the practice of moving through a series of heated rooms culminating in a cold plunge at the end. In modern times, the traditional ritual of the frigidarium [pool of cold water to close skin’s pores] has been kept in most saunas and spas around the world.”