5 Ways A Cold Shower Daily Transforms Your Life
Looking to switch up your shower routine? Trying out cold water showers may sound uncomfortable at first, but it’s best that you don’t dismiss it since it can increase your blood circulation, give you clear skin and much more!
Showering is a crucial component of having a healthy and hygienic routine, but have you ever stopped to think about the importance of the water temperature? If you prefer warm water while showering, you’re not alone. Many people prefer warm or hot showers, even when the weather outside is warm because it feels calming and can help relieve tension.
On the other hand, many people dread taking cold showers because it feels the opposite of calming and soothing. Cold showers on chilly days especially can make your mind more alert. Your showering habits can have long-term implications for your health and mental well-being, and here is why you should jump on the cold shower bandwagon.
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The Hype Surrounding Cold Showers
Many swear by taking cold showers, and it’s become somewhat of an Instagram trend. Influencers are frequently seen putting their face in ‘ice baths,’ supposedly for its health benefits. Wellness enthusiasts also talk about taking cold showers first thing every morning, which is nothing new for many people across the globe.
In India, especially during the sweltering summers, a cold shower is the only remedy to keep yourself cool. Here are some benefits of taking a cold shower for your body and mind:
- It wakes you up, as the cold water directly contradicts your normal body temperature (which is around 37 degrees C). It can shock your skin and mind, increasing oxygen intake and heart rate.
- It calms down irritated and itchy skin. Cold water leads to your blood vessels constricting, which can reduce blood flow to the area. This is ideal when you want to reduce swelling or irritation in a specific area.
- It helps lower your body temperature faster than just resting in a cool environment. If you are looking to cool your entire body, your entire body must be submersed for the best results.
- According to Dutch adventurer, Wim Hof, benefits include stress relief, better sleep, faster recovery from working out, and relief from symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
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Post-Workout Cold Showers
If you want to enhance your muscle recovery process, taking a few measures immediately after your workout can produce the best results. A cold shower has been touted as the ultimate solution to deal with muscle soreness, and research supports this. A 2021 study published in Frontiers shows that cold water immersion increases muscle protein synthesis, especially for chronic resistance exercise.
Cold water can help reduce inflammation and promote muscle recovery as blood circulation is heightened. It can also prevent pain, which is ideal when dealing with muscle soreness after a workout.
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Giving You a Healthy Glow
According to Cleveland Clinic (USA), cold water can also end up straining your body when you overdo it. It can put your circulatory system into overdrive mode, which can be both beneficial and detrimental. While your body increases blood flow to protect vital organs, it can also tighten pores around your skin, making them appear smaller.
The increased circulation can lead to clearer skin with a radiant glow that can last the whole day. When you make cold showers a part of your routine, your skin might become clearer over time. However, if you’re overdoing it to the point that you’re shivering, it might just be better to do a 10-minute exercise that can improve circulation in your body.
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Boost Your Health
A 2016 study published in Plos One (USA) shows a 29 per cent reduction in employees taking time off due to sickness when they were taking cold showers. Cold showers have also been shown to help relieve depression symptoms, as stated by a 2008 study published in the National Library of Medicine; however, more research is required to come to a conclusive result.
Another 2000 study shows that participants placed in 14-degree Celsius water for around one hour had lower cortisol levels once they came out. Cortisol is the hormone for stress. Dutch adventurer Wim Hof, who is known as the ‘Iceman’ due to his record for sitting in an ice bath, has revealed that his breathing technique is key to ensuring that he can withstand the cold temperatures. Professors at Wayne State University have stated that Hof can increase the release of endocannabinoids in his brain, which create a sense of euphoria and numb the pain from the brain.
A 2012 study conducted by Yale shows that your showers can also reveal your mental state. Participants who took longer showers with warm water tended to be lonelier than people who took cold and short showers. The study also shows that warm showers can temporarily soothe emotional distress, revealing that even warm showers have various benefits.
Try It Out Yourself
It’s crucial to keep in mind that taking cold showers may not be for everyone. You have to check whether your body’s response to cold water is healthy or not. If you suffer from heart disease, it would be best to avoid cold showers. The ideal temperature for a cold shower should be around 20 degrees Celsius; however, you can go lower than that if you want.
It would be best to give your body time to adjust before you suddenly crank the water temperature all the way down. Going down in temperature slowly can have the same effects. You can take a cold shower at 30-second intervals or for a few minutes at a stretch.
As adventurer Wim Hof has stated, there are three pillars to taking and becoming accustomed to cold baths - breathing, focus and controlled exposure. Once you become used to taking these baths, it can seem like a great activity, especially for stress relief, according to him.