Cold showers are just dreadful – maybe it is just me. Still, I had stepped into the shower on several occasions when there wasn’t sufficient power to activate the heater and ended up leaving without having taken that shower. Don’t be alarmed. I always went back after warming on the cooker.
I have since then learned that cold showers are more beneficial to the body than hot ones; that’s why I have been trying to adapt. Well, let’s not kid around; that first drop can make you change your mind. However, after a few seconds under the cascading water, you start to relax, your skin adapts, and the otherwise cold pinch turns pleasant.
If natural existence laws were to0 be allowed into the perspective, then there is nothing wrong when you choose hot over cold water. This is a consequence of our body learning to steer clear and resist cold. In this blog, we shall discuss the benefits of cold water, having a hot shower after a workout, which one is recommended, and any other relevant information on the subject.
Cold shower and your health
Indeed, there’s nothing a person wants after doing a rigorous exercise other than having a cold soothing shower. How does this affect your body?
Many people have adopted a cold shower after a workout for the simple reason of introducing a soothing, cooling effect on the entire body. Although there are several benefits (we’ll discuss them in the next segment), it is not best to apply cold water to your body immediately after the exercise.
Doing so may cause muscle stiffness, and consequently, cause muscle problems. Usually, it would be best to cool off first by choosing a less strenuous exercise such as slow cycling.
Plenty of times I have been in the swimming pool with my friends. On many of these occasions, at least one comes out prematurely after experiencing a muscle pull. Why do you think this happens? My theory has always been, the vigorous flapping of legs and hands causes a sudden increase in body temperature. But since one is in cold water, it causes a sudden shutting of muscles. Most cases were thigh and hamstrings; I have no idea why only these, and I’m not sure my theory is that expansive.
In the same breath, an idea of a warm or hot shower is a lot easier to embrace than the former. Besides, those suffering from respiratory complications would instead take hot showers. Sometimes also, people wake up with nasal blocking in the morning. In such a condition, cold showers aren’t the best for you.
Furthermore, facing cold showers in cold weather or one of those cold seasons can be a daunting experience. In such instances, whether you are from working out or just tired and want to take a shower, your easiest bet is to go for the hot one.
On the flipside, hot water causes your skin to become dry and itchy. This is true because sebaceous glands in your skin produce sebum that moistens the skin preventing it from drying and cracking. Hot water washes this away. Also, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system making one more tired and feel sleepy.
What are the health benefits of cold-water showers?
Many people worldwide have already committed to the daily routines of workouts, whether morning or evening. Exercises have enormous benefits to the body. Equally, cold showers after the said workouts have substantial health benefits. Here are some;
Dealing with anxiety, stress, and depression
There isn’t a better way of dealing with stress than training one’s body to handle it. Regular cold showers are perfect for this. They impose a certain amount of pressure on the body. Such stress may be on muscle or mental level. In whichever case, the body as it adapts undergoes a hardening process.
The more you take on cold water, the more you harden, making one gain an ability to switch a hard head whenever they are met with a stressful situation. For such a person, it becomes easier to cope and handle matters without pressure, thereby eliminating the chances of acquiring depression or anxiety.
Scientifically, being exposed to cold activates the sympathetic nerves, increasing blood flow to beta-endorphin and noradrenaline.
Enhances one’s alertness and focus
Have you ever wondered why most people take deep breaths to calm or reduce nervousness? It turns out that eliminating high amounts of carbon (iv) oxide from the body helps people concentrate more.
This is synonymous with taking a cold shower. You will take a couple of deep breaths, enhancing your body focus by increasing your concentration. Also, cold water wakes you up. This is necessary to improve your sharpness and alertness.
Significant for weight loss
We live in a time where anything that is rumoured to lead to weight loss is much welcome. This has been contributed to several reasons: a lousy lifestyle and wrong food choices. Now people, families, and nations have been left to grapple with obesity and other lifestyle diseases such as diabetes that emanate or seem to thrive in such conditions.
In isolation, cold showers or baths cannot help you in weight loss. However, coupled with other methods such as regular exercise and observing diet, cold baths ultimately come in handy.
Scientific studies claim that when an individual observes regular cold showers for a given time, their body is stimulated to generate brown fat. This is a healthy type of fat that produces energy by burning body calories.
The said fat is usually innate. Unlike visceral fat, which is acquired from junk and excess sugars, it is not dangerous. Besides, cold water immersion increases body metabolism.
Immune system booster
When metabolism is increased in a living organism, the immune response is stimulated. This follows by the production of more leucocytes which serve to fight foreign pathogens in the body.
Furthermore, the Thrombosis Research Institute of the United Kingdom reiterates that their studies showed that people who took regular cold showers increased their white blood cell count considerably compared to those who took hot showers.
Treatment of acne
Generally, taking a shower improves skin air circulation. This is by eliminating lactic acid from the pores opening them for sufficient aeration. Besides this, cold water showers play a significant role in maintaining skin health conditions, including eradicating acne.
Sophia Knapp, a cosmetologist, says that hot water triggers your skin to produce acne. Furthermore, she claims that skin conditions that result in reddening may be further accentuated by irritating.
The cold water helps to maintain reasonable amounts of sebum which reduces skin dryness.
The bottom line
What’s so great about cold showers? We have detailed how essential cold showers are to people doing routine workouts and the body in general. Here is a summary;
- calming itchy skin
- waking you up
- increasing circulation
- reducing muscle soreness post-workout
- potentially boosting weight loss
- improve skin health
On the other hand, hot showers may not have glowing recommendations for their benefits on the body, but these showers do help to some degree. Here is how;
- providing relief from respiratory symptoms
- helping with blemishes
- helping with muscle relaxation
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