The idea of stepping under a hot shower appeals to many people, whether it be to kick start the morning or wash away the cares of the past day. As the hot water washes over, it really is easy to imagine that the shower is doing your body as much good as it is doing to calm your mind and relieve any tension and stress. However, this is not the case and there are good scientific theories why you should crank the temperature down a good way. Please read why cold showers are better than hot.
When you take a hot shower you will be drying out your skin and hair. Now cold showers might not sound too appealing, however if your skin is dry, then you might want to try finishing off your shower with a cold blast. The cold water will tighten your cuticles and pores, preventing your skin from drying out. Washing your hair with cold water will lock in natural oils in your hair, giving it a super shine.
Having the shower too warm might leave you wanting to snuggle back into your cosy bed on winter mornings. Cold showers however are a great way to wake you up in the morning and to freshen you up for the day. There is some science behind this… cold water hitting your body causes you to take a deep breath, increasing oxygen and getting your heart rate pumping. This natural surge of energy will be just what you need on those sluggish mornings.
Cold water blasting over your body after your hot shower can seriously improve your blood circulation. Think of your body as a machine that needs a good oiling now and then. Increasing the amount of blood that is pumped around your body will help with some skin and heart conditions, lower blood pressure, improve your immune system and clear up blocked arteries.
Did you know that cold showers have been proven to help decrease levels of stress? Here is the science bit: the cold water helps to decrease uric acid levels while increasing glutathione, the antioxidant that is key for a happy and healthy body. It has also been found that cold showers can improve moods and have positive effect on depression. The study was based on showers at 38 degrees Fahrenheit that last between 2-3 minutes, followed by a 5 minute adaption so that the body was not shocked by the cold water. So next time you’re feeling miserable, take a cold shower!
If you’ve been hitting the gym, or running long distance then you’ll be glad to know that cold showers speed up recovery and muscle soreness. A study showed that people who immersed themselves in cold water after exercise saw a decrease in muscle soreness caused by training. The optimum temperature for success was around 10-15 degrees for 24 minutes. Cold showers will work well too, however the longer you spend in the water the better for your recovery. This is the reasons you hear many professional athletes tell interviewers they’re off for an ice bath after a performance.
Feeling a couple of pounds heavier and trying to shift a little excess weight? A cold shower can actually help you on your mission. Our bodies are made up of white fat and brown fat. White fat is the bad stuff. It comes about when we eat more calories that our bodies burn, this piles up and collects around our waist, neck, thighs and bottom. It isn’t easy to shift either. Brown fat is good fat that helps to heat our bodies and is activated when we are cold. So showering with cold water kicks the brown fat into action.
Cold showers can increase our metabolic rate too because the cold temperature forces your body to re-regulate its temperature, constantly. This burns calories and fat! Longer exposure isn’t said to be better, so keep it short and sweet. You won’t burn a dress size by sitting under a cold shower for an hour, you’ll just be very cold and very wet.
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