For most people, just taking a cold shower is enough to make them shiver. And that makes sense. Cold showers are a little too closely related to ice baths. And that’s a scary thing.
But cold showers have serious health benefits. And no one is saying that you have to start showering when you are cold. In fact, the best way to take a cold shower is to start at a normally warm temperature, and gradually lower the temperature, giving your body time to adjust to the cold each time.
It sounds crazy, and you’re probably just about to go ahead and take a steamy shower, but give it a chance. It has some pretty serious health benefits, and after a hot day or a hard workout, it tastes pretty good. If you are still unsure, here are seven benefits of cold showers for your health.
- It wakes you up!
Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like you couldn’t open your eyes? And even after you take a shower, your eyes feel stretched and tight? Do your muscles and limbs feel weak and don’t want to do their normal job?
That’s normal in the morning. Anyone who has ever had to get up and shower and go to work or school can relate. Cold showers can help with that.
Cold showers, even when you take your time and allow your body to adjust, shock your system, especially if you’re used to waking up to a routine that includes a warm shower. While a hot shower may feel like lying in bed for an extra ten minutes, a cold shower can help wake your eyes and all your muscles in the morning.
Cold showers are a much healthier alternative to coffee or other sources of caffeine, but when both are needed no judgment is given.
- It Strengthens Your Immune System
Cold showers help prevent infections, colds and flu by making the body produce more monocytes and lymphocytes. These are two types of white blood cells that remove toxins, foreign bacteria, and other unwanted substances in the body.
Along with colds, flu, and infections, cold showers can even prevent some types of cancer.
- Improved Blood Circulation
Good circulation is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. When warm and cold showers alternate, it causes vasoconstriction, or tightening of the arteries and veins, and vasodilation, which has the opposite effect.
The combination of the two helps maintain blood circulation throughout the body, and helps prevent varicose veins, hypertension, and hardening of the arteries.
- Promotes Weight Loss
The cold water in your shower boosts your metabolism by stimulating the production of what’s known as “brown fat.” Brown fat is more involved in burning energy, and when the body is submerged in cold water, it produces more brown fat to burn energy to produce heat.
Consistently creating more brown fat from cold showers will result in a faster metabolism and more effective body processing systems.
- Relieves Depression
Noradrenaline is a chemical that is believed to help relieve depression, and is made in the “blue dots” of the brain. Cold water helps simulate these blue dots and therefore helps produce antidepressant chemicals like noradrenaline.
- Deepen Breathing
The cold water in your shower creates a mild type of stress that is healthy for your body. Your body deals with this stress by trying to breathe deeply and open your lungs. This results in a higher oxygen intake, which is great for feeling awake and for better exercise.
- Healthier Skin and Hair!
Cold water is known for its ability to tighten and reduce the size of pores and cuticles. This makes the hair look shinier and less pimples. In warm water, your pores open, and your skin and hair tend to dry out.
This article was written by Kate Stefanski. Kate is originally from Chicago, Illinois but now lives in the sunny state of Florida where she majors in English. When she’s not writing papers and reading Fitzgerald, she’s blogging her heart out and FaceTimes her nephew. He is also a content creator for Health Clinic Rejuvenation. To learn more about Kate, visit her Google+.