Do cold baths and showers help you burn a lot of calories?
Your body generates heat when it is cold by shivering. This muscle fasiculation produces heat, just like jogging or walking does. It is one of the bodies mechanisms for survival in extreme situations, in addition to dilating the blood vessles in the skin, however it is not a good way to lose weight. (Note non extreme alternatives in next paragraph below) The risks of hyothermia, frostbite, shock, etc. are not worth it. Losing weight is very simple, you must burn more calories than you take in, so either eat less or be more active or both to lose weight.
YET, you do not have to do extreme temperature changes to cause the body to work harder to maintain your core body temperature, and burn more calories doing it. A cold shower hitting your neck and upper back for 10 minutes at a temperature of 72 degrees is enough to make your body burn lots of calories to maintain warmth. OR sitting back and watching TV with a large ice pack hitting your neck and back (with a T-Shirt in between) for 20 minutes will do just a good a job. Though extremes in this area could be simply a 20 min ice bath as well (but the ice pack or cold shower are 60% as effective as an ice bath).
Swimmers are thin and muscular due to the cold water drawing off the heat from their bodies and the body compensating for it.
No, however, ice-cold baths help you loose weight, as the body burns calories trying to heat itself up. Geri Hallowell is a fan of this diet. Another response: Neither hot baths nor ice-cold baths will help one lose weight. The calories burned by chilling oneself in a cold bath would be very insignificant.
Shower, most likely. If the water temperature is the same, then it all depends on the amount of water used. If you take short showers, then showers use less energy. If you take super long showers, then either take a bath, or hurry up. I'd think that it's more common to take cold showers than cold baths as well.
Yes, exerting yourself in the cold burns more calories than if you were to do the same amount of work in warm or moderate temperatures. Calories are a measure of energy and by that measure also heat. Your body needs to maintain it's temperature in the cold. So when it's cold out, your body not only needs to burn calories for your activity but also to maintain your body temperature.
Yes, but the difference isn't that much. Most of the extra food you are hungry for during cold weather is to add some weight, not because your are burning more calories. And, people who feel warm in the cold are burning more than people who feel cold. They are using calories to create the warmth they feel.
Yes. Use Noxzema (keep it in the fridge, when it's cold it really feels good) and will keep your skin moist. You can also use products with Aloe, to try to help your skin not peel. Use cool cloths on the affected area and take cool showers or baths. There is a product called Aveno which will also help, soak in the tub of lukewarm/cool water with Aveno.