For centuries, cold showers have been considered as medical treatments and are favored over the luxurious hot baths by our forefathers as well as researchers from around the world. But while the benefits of cold showers stand, there are some of you out there who should steer clear of cold showers at any cost. The cold blast of a shower in cold water can put your body’s systems into a temporary shock which will be fatal for people with certain medical conditions. People with any form of heart disease, high blood pressure or feverishly overheated bodies should avoid cold showers.
For the rest of us, cold showers are much healthier than hot baths and you don’t even have to start off with cold chilling water. Enjoy your hot shower first and then gradually turn the temperature down, or bath in cold water for the last three minutes of your shower and make sure the water is as cold as it can go. Though this might sound like a relief, it still is a strenuous task for most of us. That being said – let the benefits listed below help you through with the cold shower routine.
Improves Blood Circulation
An overall cardiovascular health requires a good blood circulation in your body. It can also help in recovering from an exhausting day of work or after some strenuous exercise. Taking turns between cold and hot water when taking a bath is listed as an easy way to improve blood circulation. While cold water makes the blood move to the internal organs to keep them warm, warm water actually reverses this effect and causes the blood to move to the surface of your skin. Studies show that stimulating the circulatory system this way will keep you looking younger and healthier.
There are many famous men and women in the history we learn about who suffered stretches of depression. A research conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine stipulated that short showers in cold water helps in stimulating the ‘blue spot’ in the brain. The ‘blue spot’ is the brain’s primary origin of noradrenaline — a chemical that could help in reducing depression.
Healthy Skin And Hair
Hot water has a mean habit of drying out your skin and hair. To avoid having itchy and ashy elbows, flaking scalps and parched skin, consider turning down the temperature of your shower water. Cold water gives shinier hair and healthy, glowing skin. The skin benefits from the cold water as it closes up the pores and cuticles in which microscopic dirt particles can accumulate.
A study done in 1993, England, found that people who took cold showers every day saw an increase in the number of virus fighting white blood cells in comparison with people who took hot showers. The researchers believe that this is caused due to the increased metabolic rate. This results from the body trying to warm up, thus activating the immune system and releasing more white blood cells in response.
Every time you end a shower with cold water you are bound to feel invigorated and energized. Your heart pumps faster and the lethargy of the previous night’s sleep is long gone with the rush of blood through your body. The increase in energy lasts for hours and it’s as effective as having an energy drink, but even better considering your health.
Improve Emotional Resilience
Cold showers help train your nervous system to quickly bounce back from stress. If you are a person who is easily anxious and flustered, this is for you. Showering in cold water stimulates the nervous system by acting as a form of oxidative stress. The body adapts to this after a period of time and these cold showers will eventually help in you being a cool and calmer person.
Anyone who has tried bathing or baths daily in cold water already know that it is hard to breathe with the first several minutes of splashing cold water. But this is actually a positive deal for your body. This extreme breathing every morning will dramatically expand the level of oxygen your body takes in and also increase your pulse rate. This will result in the body enjoying a natural amount of energy throughout the day, every day. The icy cold water will make you more alert with the deep breathing exercise.
Stimulate Weight Loss
There are two types of fat in your body and they are called brown fat and white fat. The fat we all would rather do without is the white fat and the one that helps in generating heat and keeping your body warm is the brown fat. Taking a cold shower activates this brown fat and results in an increase in your energy level as well as the amount of calories burnt to keep you warm. Cold showers are great brown fat stimulators and increase it to 15 times the normal amount in your body. You can lose around 9 pound of your weight every year as a result of this.
They Drain Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system help carry out waste from your cells. Cold showers can help in a smoother functioning of this pivotal part of the body. The lymphatic system has a key role in defending your body from unwelcome infections and if the lymphatic system is congested, it will show up as frequent colds, infections and joint pain. Alternating between cold and hot water while showering will contract and relax the lymph vessels respectively with the change in temperature. This helps the lymphatic system in pumping out any stagnated fluids, eventually developing your body’s immune system and providing a healthier body.
The reasons behind cold showers being forbidden for those with heart disease, high blood pressure or overheated bodies is due to the contraction in the blood vessels of the body that are caused by cold showers which could possibly result in a stroke or constrict blood vessels from dilating to release the heat in the body. Unless you fall in the list of people who should avoid them, cold showers actually have some pretty awesome health benefits in store for you!