Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

Cold showers: a scientist explains if they are as good for you as Wim Hof (the ‘Iceman’) suggests

Still Waters

Recommended Posts

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Anyone watching the BBC programme Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof may be starting to wonder whether there really “power in the cold shower” as extreme athlete Hof claims. Hof, who set a Guinness World Record for swimming under ice, says that a “cold shower a day keeps the doctor away” by decreasing stress and increasing energy levels.

There is not much research looking at the health benefits of cold showers, so the literature is limited. The largest study with 3,000 participants was carried out in the Netherlands and found that people who took a daily cold shower (following a warm shower) of either 30 seconds, 60 seconds or 90 seconds for one month were off work with self-reported sickness 29% less than those who had a warm shower only. Interestingly, the duration of the cold water did not affect the sickness absence.

The reason why cold showers might prevent people from getting ill is still unclear. Some research suggests that it boosts the immune system. A Czech study showed that being immersed in cold water (14°C for one hour) three times a week for six weeks, gave a slight boost to the immune system of “athletic young men”, the only group tested. However, further research is needed to fully understand the effects on the immune system.


  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Lots of anecdotal claims, along with some supposition.

G-Tummo breathing which is an historic method of creating heat in the body in cold weather is a thing, and what Wim does is a derivative of that method.  Though to my eye, he does not appear an example of super health.  Just another old guy, who's resilient to cold using an old technique from the Himalayas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A mother-of-three died after plunging into a river at a cold water therapy camp loved by celebrities including Coleen Rooney. 

The woman, 39, and two friends paid up to £200 for a two-hour session at Breatheolution in Buxworth, Derbyshire on Monday. They were joined by therapist Kevin O'Neill who runs the camp. 

The woman entered the water and was acclimatising to its temperature when she suddenly collapsed.



Because cold water immersion affects your blood pressure, heart rate, and circulation, it can cause serious cardiac stress.

There have been a number of deaths, both from cold exposure and heart attacks, during open water swim events. Discuss the risks with your doctor and make sure it’s safe for you to immerse yourself in cold water before you try it.


  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Jumping into cold water when you're not used to it is dangerous.

That said Wim Hof has had a ton of experiments done on him and the benefits of which are evident.

I swim weekly in cold water, as low as 1C. You can feel those benefits after a short period of getting used to water over maybe half a.dozen sessions.

The article is a little misleading to narrow its chosen rresearch to be a little cycnical about what has been felt and proven by many.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been trying to take cold showers everyday for over a decade. According to Franz Bardon, who first told me to, the health benefit is from removing heat that attracts illness. The benefits really are amazing, and cold showers are just rejuvenating in general. He says to in the colder months to take lukewarm showers. This was information that carries with me for life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.