If you’re like most Americans, you crave a steaming hot shower in the morning.
In fact, the hotter the better – steaming up the mirror is often seen as proof of an effective shower.
And just the thought of standing under cold water every morning seems utterly insane – but the truth is there amazing health benefits that can occur by taking a cold shower.
From improved circulation and stress relief – to better skin and nails – check out the benefits of starting your day with a cold shower:
- Increased Circulation
It might seem counterintuitive, but for an achy swollen body, heat is not the best thing to relieve pain. It can actually make it worse for tissue that is already inflamed.
But jumping in a cold shower can increase your circulation, causing your blood to circulate faster.
And as a result, your swollen body can begin to feel better almost instantly.
Once the water hits your skin, your limbs feel the cold water and not only does your blood begin to circulate faster, but the cold helps your circulatory system respond to inflammation.
“A cold shower has the opposite effect of a hot shower for someone with hypertension or cardiovascular disease, since exposure to cold temperatures triggers the circulatory system to reduce inflammation and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.”
Many athletes and those in the fitness world have been taking post-workout cold showers for years – it’s time we join them!
And keeping with the cold theme – this is why many choose to do cryotherapy too!
- Stress Reliever
Okay believe it or not – studies show cold showers can actually increase your emotional resilience and even lower stress!
It’s obvious blasting our body with cold water can make us more alert in the morning, but as it turns out cold showers can have an even more profound effect.
“As the brain learns how to deal with stressful situations, cold showers could also help cut the levels of uric acid and boost glutathione in the blood, which helps reduce stress. Cold showers have been found to relieve symptoms of depression by stimulating the “blue spot” on the brain that releases noradrenaline, a chemical which plays a role in alleviating depression.”
Alleviating depression by a cold shower?
It almost sounds too good to be true.
But our bodies are amazing, and the way our systems work together is incredible. As it turns out, it’s all about electrical impulses to the brain.
Medical Daily confirmed:
“Cold showers have been shown to relieve depression symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. Thus, it produces an antidepressive effect, and boosts moods, making it a pick-me-up.”
So if you’re feeling blue – jump in a cold shower and see what happens!
- Improved Hair and Skin: Steaming hot water might feel good, but it dries out your skin and hair.
In addition, hot water can lead to itchy and irritated skin.
Many women have long followed the trick of turning the water cold the final few moments of a shower to “close the pores” and give skin a fresh glow.
And as it turns out, the cold water does actually improve hair and skin.
“The cold will flatten the ruffled cuticles and lock in moisture to prevent breakage,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, a dermatologist in the Chicago area. Cold water will initially help constrict blood vessels in your skin to temporarily tighten pores and decrease redness and puffiness, she adds.
Improved skin and hair –yet another reason to give the cold shower thing a try!
As you can see, there are obvious benefits to taking a cold shower, which go deeper than just helping alleviate heatstroke!
If you’re like me and are used to taking hot showers every morning – the sudden change can seem daunting.
There are many ways to break yourself into this habit. To start, consider going easy and trying lukewarm water, and then turning it gradually to cold.
Or if you can’t fathom the thought of a 15-minute cold shower, take your shower as you normally would, and then turn it cold the last few minutes.
But to those of you who are brave enough to be “all in” – consider a cold shower from the start.
The benefits of taking a cold shower are numerous – and this is a simple and inexpensive way you can improve your overall health and start your day right.
Were you surprised to learn about the benefits of taking a cold shower? Is this something you would consider adding to your daily routine?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know the amazing health benefits of taking a cold shower!