Are Cold Showers Good For You?
There is nothing better than jumping into a nice warm shower, lathering on some amazing smelling body wash and feeling all relaxed and loose. However, is a warm shower your only option? Could cold showers be good for you too? While warm showers can relax the muscles, relieve us of any respiratory symptoms and deliver us a little dose of sleepy, cold showers provide some genuinely great benefits attached to it too. So whether you’re someone who can jump into a cold shower no problem, or someone who shivers at the thought, we have listed all the goods about a nice cold shower below.
Firstly, it’s interesting to know that cold showers were very normal back in the day. It was only if you lived near a hot spring that you were able to enjoy the luxury of a hot bath. However, even when the Ancient Greeks invented a heating system to implement into their public baths, most continued to bathe in cold water for the incredible health benefits. Today, many cultures execute cold water into religious or spiritual ceremonies. For instance, every 30th of December, a group of Japanese locals enjoy a purification ceremony described as a Shinto ritual. This ritual is performed to ask for good health in the New Year and to cleanse their soul. It involves men and women diving into 4 degrees Celsius water, chanting for five minutes and then stepping back onto shore.
In today’s society, many have jumped on the cold shower bandwagon due to the benefits listed below.
Cold Shower Benefits
1) Cold Showers to Improve Circulation
While hot showers relax the muscles, cold showers are able to speed up the recovery time from sports or strenuous workouts. This is due to blood circulation increasing and transporting nutrients around the body which improves muscle recovery. Essentially, regular cold showers allow for our bodies circulatory system to be more efficient.
Athletes have sworn by cold water for recovery for a very long time. Think about it like getting into an ice bath after playing a sport or putting ice on an injured area. We are bringing the temperature of that area down which will then allow for the delivery of fresh oxygenated blood and of course, aid in inflammation. If you have poor circulation, high blood pressure or even diabetes, cold showers could really benefit your blood movement especially if you exercise regularly.
2) Cold Showers to Increases Endorphins
Whether it’s the people around you, or yourself, who suffer from depression, it is vital to know that a cold shower could aid in your symptoms. Naturally, this won’t be a cure, but something that could help is always a good thing to try.
Studies show that taking a shower for five minutes, two to three times a week can aid in the relief of some symptoms of depression. This happens due to endorphins, or the happy hormone, being released, and the jolt of cold water increasing energy, alertness and clarity.
3) Cold Showers to Help Fights Illnesses
You won’t be fighting off serious illness, but a common cold or the flu could be kicked in the butt with the inclusion of cold showers in your life. Basically, the cold water shock you will get, will stimulate leukocytes. Leukocytes, according to the National Cancer Institute, “help the body fight infection and other diseases.”
A cold shower will result in your body trying to warm itself, activating these white blood cells in response. At the end of the day, showing that a cold shower could aid in the resistance of common illnesses.
4) Cold Showers to Help Skin and Hair Health
With hot water drying out your hair and skin, cold showers have actually been shown to do wonders. When it comes to your hair, cold water closes and strengthens your cuticles, allowing for stronger and healthier hair. For your skin, blood flow tightens, constricts and the sebum layer which is often dried out by hot water will stay put. This will allow for a naturally lubricated layer of protection on your skin.
How To Take A Cold Shower
To define a cold shower is to use water that is 21 degrees or less, but throwing yourself into a cold shower is not something you have to do. Don’t be afraid to start off with a lukewarm shower and work your way up to a colder temperature. Once you have been able to get there, stand under the water for up to five minutes. At first, this may be very difficult, and you may find your heart pumping, your breathing becoming heavier and your brain telling you to get the heck out of there. If you are able to get through the whole time frame, great! If not, don’t be hard on yourself. Feel free to take intervals instead. Stand under the cold water for as long as you can and switch back to luke-warm water for a short while. Not everything has to be done all at once, and slowly working your way up to a long cold shower time is not a bad way to go.
Setting Limitations For Cold Showers
It is imperative to know that a cold shower isn’t going to cure any conditions, but should be seen as a traditional and natural treatment to aid in some ailments you may have.
On the same note, if you are already cold or are sick, a cold shower may not be the best option. With your body not being able to warm itself up and your immune system struggling with overcoming an illness, it’s better to stick to a warmer shower until you are capable of handling a colder one.
Whether you require a jolt to wake you up in the morning or are looking to aid in the defence of illnesses, a cold shower could truly be beneficial to you. Don’t be afraid to attempt it and go at your own pace. You could even end with a cold shower for a few seconds. It isn’t even something you have to accomplish every day, but there is no harm in trying something that will leave your hair and skin healthy, help improve your circulation, aid inflammation and get some endorphins flowing through you!