Bathing is a personal matter and the choice of temperature of the water differs from individual to individual. A warm shower, a scalding hot one or a cold one, each has its special benefits. However, cold showers have more advantages and health benefits than the rest.
Adams Mwebe, a law student, believes cold showers give him more staying power and keep him alert. The 22-year-old student says he does not recall the last time he showered using hot water.
Unlike Mwebe, Julius Tumwine, a telecommunications engineer says when he wants a long comfortable sleep, he takes a cold shower which relieves his body of stress and calms down his nerves.
“I have a desk job and it confines me in one position with limited or no movements at all until I go home later in the evening. But after taking a cold shower, I feel re-energised and go to bed fresh and wake up with lots of energy to go to work the following day,” Tumwine says.
Much as Tumwine takes walks around the office premises to stretch, he says it is not enough for his body to release the stress compared to having cold showers.
Dr Umarashid Guloba of Makerere University Business School health centre, says unlike hot water, cold showers are the cheapest option to achieving your weight loss targets. Naturally, the human skin or body has two kinds of fat; white fat, which he says is not healthy and brown fat whose sole purpose is to generate the required body temperature and heat to supply your body with the required heat and warmth.
“If you are someone who is heavy and have a goal of losing weight, when you get yourself used to having cold showers, your natural body switch that activates brown fat is turned on. This will lead into an increase in your energy levels and an increase in the amount of calories burned to keep your body warm,” Dr Guloba explains.
He adds, “The more cold showers you have, the more the amount of brown fat your body will gain. This means that you will lose and achieve your weight loss target. Do not expect immediate results. It is something that should be done overtime.”
For the men, Guloba observes that cold showers increase your testosterone levels. Testosterones are hormones that stimulate the development of male secondary sexual characteristics, especially in the male genitals.
“On a hot day, male genitals loosen and hang to get access to fresh air. When you have a cold shower, your genitals will become tight and go back to their normal position to increase your testosterone levels. This means that male genitals function better when they are cold,” Guloba advises.
The other beauty of cold showers is that they increase fertility rates and sperm production in men especially those in their mid-20s and above.
“A hot shower may serve the intended purpose of keeping you warm but in the long run, it reduces the rate at which your sperms are manufactured in the testicles. The rate at which male sperms are produced is much higher after taking cold showers compared to when you take a hot shower,” Guloba notes.
Dr Henry Musinguzi, a general practitioner, says cold showers do not only maintain proper cardiovascular health by ensuring blood circulation throughout all body parts but that they also maintain the right amounts of blood in all body parts.
“Cold showers increase your heartbeat and this means that your body organs will receive the right amounts of blood with the required nutrients and oxygen while eliminating those that the body does not need. It also reduces the risk of succumbing to cardiovascular diseases,” Dr Musinguzi says.
Cold showers are also a secret to boosting your body immunity by increasing the rate at which white blood cells are manufactured. White blood cells, Musinguzi reasons, play a vital role of fighting against disease causing agents in your body. And for athletes who experience muscle injuries, cold showers, Musinguzi concludes, help in quickening muscle recovery to allow you get back on the field or gym faster.
Strengthens your willpower
Do you constantly find yourself giving into temptation or letting people walk all over you? Well, it is time to consider a cold shower. One of the biggest benefits is how your willpower builds with consistent cold showers. If you have the mental strength to get through the day while having the discipline to be a healthier and fitter you. This is a discipline. And if you can stick to this, which can seem like torture at the time, you can stick to almost anything.