There are several questions that are most often asked in the general public about hot showers :
Ask : What is the hot shower can lower blood pressure?
Answer : Dr. David Greuner, surgical director of NYC Surgical Associates says “In regards to blood pressure, hot showers can lower your blood pressure because the heat dilates peripheral blood vessels, which can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy in the shower,” so, If you have a heart condition or blood pressure issues this is something you should speak with your doctor about.
(Source : www.bustle.com)
Ask : Do hot showers help headaches?
Answer : According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research that hot packs and heating pads can relax tense muscles. Warm showers or baths may have a similar effect. so it indirectly can indeed relieve headaches.
(Source : www.mayoclinic.org)
Ask : Do hot showers could result in dry skin?
Answer : Dr. Harry Dao, assistant professor of dermatology at Baylor says “Dry skin is the most common cause of itchy, irritated skin so it is important to avoid overly hot baths and showers. Showering in hot water during the wintery months not only dries out the skin, but also can damage the surface of the skin.”
(Source : www.bcm.edu)
Besides all of the above, let us refer to about benefits of cold showers for your body mind and wallet. Now imagine this, you’ve dragged yourself out of bed, half awake and half willing to start the day with a groggy mind, you begin your morning rituals. As you step into the shower and turn it on you realize your mistake but it’s too late as freezing cold water sprays onto your body, and this is followed by screaming some colorful language, quick kids cover your ears. Well, how many times have you experienced this unfortunate scenario, the idea of cold showers is chilling and it’s not a perfect way to start the morning, yet cold showers provide surprising benefits for our health and well-being.
Now let’s talk about the cool reasons why a cold shower is good for your mind and body :
1. It increases your energy and a mental alertness
Who doesn’t get the shock of their life when a jet of ice-cold water sprays on their face and body, unless you’re like Elsa and frozen and the cold never bothers you anyway. There was a real person who found it exhilarating and was an advocate of it since childhood. None other than Katherine Hepburn, she spent her whole life telling everyone about the advantages of cold showers.
Katherine was influenced by her father dr. Tom Orvil Hepburn a pioneer in social hygiene, we know that you’re at a disadvantage here because she started this ritual while everyone else was learning their ABCs, but it’s never too late to try it. A cold shower is an economical substitute for a cup of hot coffee, when you need it to feel more awake the rush of cold water alerts your brain accelerate your heart rate, increases your oxygen intake and boosts your energy.
2. It improves your mood you might be skeptical
That cold showers do have a relaxing effect. A joint study conducted by Humboldt University in Berlin and Montana State University in the u.s. found out that exposure to cold water increases glutathione and improves level of uric acid. Glutathione, I bet you didn’t even know you had that. When these two are combined they can relieve stress which makes you more relaxed.
3. It gives you shinier hair and flawless skin
Perhaps you spend hundreds of dollars on spa and hair treatments every year, therefore it may stump you to hear that you can achieve the same effect by simply taking cold showers daily. But how? well, I’m gonna tell you how. Showering doesn’t just remove dead skin cells and excess oils in your hair and on your skin.
The cold temperature of the water tightens the pores and scalp which helps prevent the release of the natural oils that make your hair and skin greasy, it’s also known that sealed pores prevent dirt from getting into your skin. Less dirt and oil, equals glowing, and healthy skin. Your hair will become more luxurious, shinier, and thicker. Even if you dyed it this is in direct contrast to warm water which strips away the natural oils while you wash.
4. It improves your immune system
Your body’s natural defense system gets stronger when you’re drenched in cold water, the immune system defends the body against antigens like bacteria and viruses, which make us sick studies show that cold water stimulates immune cell production, this happens when your body warms itself during and after being doused in icy water, your metabolic rate instantly accelerates, which activates your immune system and releases more white blood cells, and what our white blood cells again?, according to the health and cyclopædia of the University of Rochester Medical Center white blood cells also known as leukocytes are essential for good health and protection against illness and disease.
5. It helps with weight loss
Should you be sweating to get rid of fat? yes, but another way to lose weight is through cold showers, the human body has two types of fat, white fat and brown fat. The white fat is the stubborn fat you want to lose from your waist lower back, neck, and thighs. Brown fat or brown adipose tissue is the kind of fat you want to keep in your body, it helps your body maintain its warm and fuzzy temperature.
However brown fat just like our imaginary friends from childhood vanishes as we grow up. But there’s still hope, scientists realize that brown fat can be activated and regenerated, a study led by academics at the University of Nottingham figured out that lower temperatures can activate brown fat at the cellular level, when brown fat is activated it can burn its nemesis white fat, taking a cold shower might yield the same results but don’t get too cozy with the cold because it also has its downsides, like freezing to death?.
6. It fights depression and anxiety
Globally more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, a fact revealed by the World Health Organization. It’s similar to a heart attack which is a silent killer that’s ready to strike anytime, cold showers may help bring you out of a debilitating mood and several studies prove this, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine claimed that exposure to cold is known to activate the sympathetic nervous system.
A cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain which could result in an anti-depressive effect, another study proves that cold showers can stimulate your blue spot, which is the part of your brain that produces noradrenaline or norepinephrine, a chemical that can resist depression.
7. It relieves muscle soreness
Athletes are known to dip into ice baths after training in games to help alleviate muscle soreness, this is backed by research published in the cochrane library, 366 volunteers underwent resistance training, cycling or running. The researchers then asked the volunteers to soak themselves in ice cold baths afterwards, one to four days after exercise the volunteers condition improved thereby confirming that cold baths are effective at relieving sore muscles.
Chris Bleakley, the lead author of the study also warned of the potential effects of immersing oneself into icy waters, he said that it could induce a degree of shock on the body, so people always need to be careful that they aren’t doing anything that might harm them.
8. It helps with fertility
According to research from the University of California San Francisco soaking in hot baths, hot tubs, and jacuzzis can lead to male infertility. If you and your partner are trying to conceive you should stay away from these places and consider switching to cold showers for a while to increase fertility.
9. It saves the environment and your money
Mother Earth will thank you because cold showers lower your global footprint, you can also save money by switching from warm to cold water. Are you now brave enough to take a cold shower based on the benefits we’ve discussed today?, do you really want to turn into a giant goose pimple?, hold on, don’t jump into the shower just yet, now we’re gonna tell you about the safety precautions you must take before you shower in icy water:
First don’t try to do this if you’re sick, having recently been admitted to the hospital during winter or if you have heart disease, set the temperature somewhere between 54 degrees and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, go overboard and you might suffer from frostbite or hypothermia, settle within your personal comfort zone, if you know it’s too cold for you turn it up a notch, shower should last from five to eight minutes only, don’t exceed nine minutes.
Is a five minute shower not enough?, you may now indulge yourself in a warm or lukewarm shower to finish your bathing routine. How should we take a cold shower by ourselves or with Frosty the Snowman? just kidding.. well, this seems like a silly question but trust us on this one, the moment you get under the showerhead you’ll feel your willpower waver, fear slowly creeps in the determination you have beef will evaporate into thin air because of your hesitation to abandon the comfort of your usual warm shower.
Here’s what you should do, start with warm water the kind of temperature you’re accustomed to, little by little lower the temperature, slowly until you reach degrees 54 Fahrenheit or 12 degrees Celsius, in your first trial run do it for 10 seconds only, gradually increase your time from 30 seconds to 5 minutes until you get used to it, but if you’re uncomfortable doing this don’t force yourself, you must avoid serious consequences. Not all of us can stand the call, so have you tried a cold shower what was your experience?.