Cold Showers May Break Weight Loss Rut

by Martin Leung

Even after weeks and months of strict dieting and exercise, routines can hit a plateau. But don’t be discouraged, a cold shower or a quick dip in the pool might help to encourage weight loss.

The human body is designed to maintain a core temperature of around 98.6 °F and achieves this by controlling the amount of heat that is constantly being given off. Ray Cronise, A scientist from NASA, found that he effectively lost weight by placing his body in a cold environment. Cronise said the human body burns off more calories when trying to keep the body warm versus cooling down.

Taking a dip in cold water can increase the body’s requirement to maintain a core temperature. And the colder the water, the more energy used to keep warm – meaning more calories are burned.

Exercising in water has other benefits as well. It’s a low impact environment that’s gentle on the joints and the increased resistance in the water incorporates more muscles into any exercise. For people who are unable to make it to a pool or the beach, a cold shower can cool the body enough to produce similar effects.

While the intended benefits of this cold treatment may seem appealing, there are health risks to consider. Dr. David Katz, Director and Founder of the Integrative Medicine Center said cold temperatures could restrict blood flow and should be avoided by people with heart problems. Exposure to extreme cold could lead to cardiac arrest in severe cases or place unnecessary stress in others.

“Being cold is uncomfortable. Frankly, if people are willing to be that miserable to lose weight they might as well try eating well and exercising,” said Katz in an ABC News Article.

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