Blast of Cold Water after a Warm Shower
WHEN THE HEATING system at my gym broke down I was not best pleased the pool was lukewarm but worst of all I had to have a cold shower –I was pis••d off. The last thing I wanted was a cold shower; nevertheless, I did and hated it.
While I was getting changed, my gym buddy Ivan exclaimed how good he felt after that cold shower and said he regularly had cold showers since following Wim Hof Method, involving dunking your body into ice baths.
Don't get me wrong; I have heard a lot about the benefits of cold showering that I will get into shortly. But the last thing I want after being in a tepid swimming pool for an hour is a cold shower. It just makes me even colder and increases the amount of time it takes for my body to warm back up.
Anyway, it also allowed Ivan to tell me about his cold shower journey. Following his exhaustive explanation, I'm almost two years into incorporating cold showers at the end of my hot shower.
But there is a simple reason why a cold shower increases circulation; it's because the shock of ice-cold water puts your circulatory system into overdrive—forcing your body to increase blood flow to warm your core and protect vital organs. While at the same time, it constricts circulation near your skin. It also stimulates blood flow, which is good for your overall health, and your skin gets clearer and healthier with increased circulation.
I have since read and seen numerous internet headlines that tout the advantages of an ice-cold shower, with potential benefits that include everything from improving your circulation to weight loss to improving your immune system. And there is a fair bit of science and research behind the claims, taking a cold shower but is it worth the stress you put your body through in the process.
According to studies, taking ice showers has been shown to boost your immune system and make you more resistant to illness. Cold showers reduced the number of people who called in ill to work by 29%, following a Dutch clinical investigation. Another study linked cold showers to a higher chance of surviving cancer.
Below are the cold shower benefits that I found.
• Taking a cold shower softens flakey & dry skin brought on by the winter months
• Cold water constricts circulation, making blood in deeper tissues work harder to maintain your core temperature
• Cold water also closes and strengthens your hair cuticles, making your hair softer
• Hot water, on the other hand, dries out the oily top barrier layer of your skin, causing it to dry out.
They are beneficial to circulation.
The benefits of cold showers on your circulation are the most important reason to include them in your daily routine. When you reduce your core body temperature by submerging yourself in cold water, your body has to work harder and faster to warm up. This is accomplished by increasing blood flow to the skin's surface, supporting healthy circulation.
They can help to relieve muscle pain.
If you've just finished a challenging workout at the gym, a cold shower might help ease tired and achy muscles. Cold water has the same effect on circulation as hot water. The colder temperature aids faster blood flow to painful areas.
They've been shown in studies to aid with depression.
Cold showers may help you feel better if you suffer from depression. Hydrotherapy has been used to treat tension for ages. Cold showers, which generate electrical impulses in the brain, are supposed to have a similar impact; they improve your energy levels and make you feel more alert.
They can make your hair look healthier and more lustrous.
After shampooing, rinsing your hair with cold water can help your hair look more polished. Warm water causes our hair follicles to open up, allowing them to be washed and conditioned. On the other hand, cold water seals these follicles, holding in moisture and reducing the chance of your hair drying out and becoming brittle over time.
They might be able to help your immune system.
According to research, cold showers may also be beneficial to your immune system. You can boost the white blood cells in your bloodstream by shaking your body up a little by showering in cold water.
My cold shower suggestion
So, you're still interested in taking a cold shower? Take a deep breath, because turning the shower from Hot to Cold isn't a pleasant experience.
As you lower the water temperature, give your body time to acclimate. Thirty seconds in the cool water can help you get some of the desired responses and outcomes. I stay under the cold water for about one or two minutes. I still have to psyche myself up before turning the thermostat temperature down, and then I can't wait to get out.