Many of us are unaware of the power of cold showers and the benefits they bring.
Recent research looks into what Brits do and don’t know about the benefits of cold shower, with a medical doctor and Arctic adventurer commenting on the science behind why they’re good for us.
Cold showers are known to soothe the mind, body, and soul, with clear benefits for our physical and mental health – yet new research by Mira Showers has highlighted how unaware the nation is about how valuable dialling down the temperature of our daily showers can be, with one in ten (13 per cent) even admitting they “don’t care” whether their showers are too hot.
On a surface level, hot showers can inflame the skin, cause itching, and lead to peeling. By damaging the keratin cells that sit on the outer layer of our skin, hot water creates dryness by removing the ‘tool’ our body uses to lock moisture in – intensifying uncomfortable symptoms and exaggerating eczema.
Cold water can calm these conditions, helping relieve itchiness and revive our skin and hair, but despite the nation tuning into Wim Hof’s Freeze the Fear as it aired earlier this year – over half (51 per cent) of Brits’ believe the only benefit to cold showers is cooling down.
Four in five (83 per cent) don’t know that they can give our immune systems a healthy boost, whilst three quarters (77 per cent) are unaware that they can help create sustained levels of alertness.
Only a fifth (22 per cent) credit them to reducing muscle soreness, with fewer (17 per cent) understanding that cold showers can help reduce stress. A fifth (20 per cent) thought there were no benefits at all!
The allure of the benefits of cold showers has attracted some to incorporate them into their routine though.
The data recognised the green isle of Northern Ireland as the place most people (28 per cent) are incorporating a cold shower into their routine, followed by London (21 per cent), East Midlands and Scotland (both 18 per cent).
It also crowned the health-conscious Gen Z most likely to give them a try.
More than a quarter of 18 to 24-year-olds (26 per cent) claim they regularly take a cold shower; three times the amount of Gen X ( seven per cent) and five times more than Baby Boomers (five per cent).
While motivations to step under a cold stream were fuelled by curiosity, a fifth (21 per cent) were most interested in trialling them to improve their skin – with some inspired only to look younger!
The most popular motivations are:
Curiosity around the health benefits (26 per cent)
To get better skin (21 per cent)
Reduce stress levels (18 per cent)
Strengthen the immune system (16 per cent)
Reduce muscle soreness (14 per cent)
Increase stamina and willpower (11 per cent)
To help me lose weight (10 per cent)
To look younger (six per cent)
Medical doctor at Northwick Park Hospital A&E in London, Dr Jamie Facer-Childs, said: “Cold showers are so incredibly good for our health.
"The cold water on the skin causes vasoconstriction – this is when the muscles around your blood vessels tighten – which makes our pores close, tightening the skin and helping our bodies feel toned and ready for action. The sudden stimulus of cold also triggers a reflex reaction that heightens our alertness and sharpens our thinking.
“While it takes a little bit time and consistency for the physical benefits of cold showers to take flight, the mental boost starts as soon as you decide to take the plunge – I swear by them.”
Marketing director at Mira Showers, Emma Foster, added: “For so many of us, it’s now become the norm to seek out a piping hot sauna or steam room when looking for some much-needed self-care. So, it’s not surprising to see that nine out of ten people (86 per cent) are afraid to turn the temperature the other way and make cold showering a daily habit. Of course, it sounds unpleasant, but the known benefits of regularly taking a cold shower can be extremely rewarding for both our mind and body.”
To encourage the nation to dial down the temperature on their showers, Mira Showers is giving four lucky people the opportunity to win a £500 gift card for Champney’s Health Spa, which boasts a cold room and ice fountain – offering the ultimate in cold water therapy.
For more information and to enter, visit: www.mirashowers.co.uk/coldshowering website.
Founded in 1921, Mira is the UK’s leading manufacturer of mixer, electric, power and digital showers. The entire range of showers and accessories, such as taps and shower trays, use stylish design and innovative technology to deliver a high-performance showering experience in every price range. Mira is owned by leading American bathroom manufacturer Kohler Co. Mira shower products are available in retailers nationwide, including B&Q, and can be found in one in four homes in the UK.
Mira Showers have now proved they are better by design by winning both an IF and Red Dot Award with the high design quality of the Mira Mode digital shower.