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While most people wouldn't think of taking a cold shower when they get out of bed in the morning, you can get a lot of health benefits by turning the knob to the right instead of the left. Cold showers help improve your overall mental and physical health by strengthening your willpower and nervous system response.
When you take cold showers regularly, you notice dramatic changes in your body's immune, lymphatic, circulatory, and digestive systems. It may seem like a crazy idea to take an ice cold shower, but you may want to give it a try after learning about the incredible benefits it provides for your mind and body.
Cold showers help the body better handle stress as it is exposed to extreme conditions, as well as increasing willpower. Cold water helps improve hair and skin by reducing pore size and stimulating hair follicles. Bathing in cold water also helps wake you up in the morning, so much so that you may not need any more coffee! We'll go over these benefits and more in detail below.
HERE ARE EIGHT HEALTH BENEFITS OF TAKING A COLD SHOWER:
1 - INCREASES CIRCULATION IN THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
The lymphatic system consists of vessels that run throughout the body that help remove waste, bacteria, and microbes from cells. As the lymphatic system helps the body cleanse itself, an overload of toxins can disrupt this delicate system. Many people don't get enough exercise in today's world, but lymphatic fluid requires movement to clean out toxins. Living a mostly sedentary lifestyle allows toxins to build up as fluid remains in the body, which can lead to various diseases.
While the heart continually pumps blood through the body, the lymphatic system does not have a pump, requiring body movement to function properly. So how do cold showers help the lymphatic system? Cold water helps constrict the lymphatic vessels, causing the lymphatic system to pump lymphatic fluids throughout the body. In turn, the waste is removed. Cold showers also boost the immune system because white blood cells help destroy toxins in the lymphatic fluid.
2 - IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR CIRCULATION
Did you know that cold showers can help improve circulation? While most people attribute exercise and diet to better circulation, soaking in cold water can have the same effect. Poor cardiovascular circulation causes the blood to slow down and thicken, which can put pressure on the heart. If not corrected, this can easily lead to a heart attack or stroke. However, by speeding up circulation, blood can flow better throughout the body and help speed up metabolism.
When immersed in cold water, the blood is immediately directed to the vital organs to protect them from the extreme change in temperature. So your heart must pump blood through your vessels and to your vital organs to give them nutrients and oxygen. If you take cold showers regularly, you will see a noticeable difference in your circulation.
When you expose your skin to cold water, the blood vessels on the skin's surface begin to contract. This explains why blood flows to vital organs. One study found that taking a cold shower after a workout can improve hydration by cooling the body.
So not only will it improve your circulation, but cold showers can also help hydrate the body.
3 - REDUCE MUSCLE INFLAMMATION
Everyone knows that sore feeling in the muscles after an intense workout. Some people swear by warming pads or massages with hot oil, but cold showers can also help reduce inflammation. Every time you exercise, especially as a beginner, the muscles have to break a bit every time you put resistance to them to make them stronger. This process accounts for the intense pain people feel after strenuous training.
However, cold showers help narrow blood vessels, reducing swelling and inflammation. Many professional athletes bathe in ice cold water after a workout for this very reason: it helps to lower body temperature and relieve pain. However, anyone can benefit from cold showers after training or doing housework. If you have chronic inflammation, try a cold shower as a natural remedy. You may not even need anti-inflammatory pills or anything else!
4 - COLD SHOWERS MAKE YOU HAPPIER (SERIOUSLY ... KEEP READING)
While taking cold showers may not permanently cure depression, it can certainly help with symptoms temporarily. A 2007 research study found that cold showers, along with traditional remedies like pharmaceutical pills and therapy, can help lift your spirits and ease other symptoms of depression.
Cold showers help depression because cold water triggers neurotransmitters that improve mood, which can boost happiness levels. Another case study showed that after four months of swimming in cold water in winter, the subjects felt more vibrant and active than the control group.
Other beneficial lifestyle changes to help with depression:
-Changing your diet. Eating a whole plant-based diet can help balance the chemicals in your brain that cause symptoms of depression.
-Sleep enough. Lack of sleep can easily cause irritable moods and depressive symptoms. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
-Drink enough water. Many people are chronically dehydrated, which means that the brain lacks adequate oxygen, which can lead to low moods. Try to drink at least 3 liters of water per day.
-Even if you only have 15 or 30 minutes a day, try to walk around the neighborhood or go for a quick run. Exercise helps release endorphins that boost your mood.
-Practice deep breathing, yoga or meditation. Many people breathe very shallowly and rapidly, which increases anxiety and stress. Make sure to dedicate a portion of your mornings to self-care with deep breathing or another relaxation technique. This will help you stay calm, focused, and happy throughout the day!
5 - HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Since cold water helps stimulate blood flow, it can speed up your metabolism, which will inevitably help you lose weight. When you're cold, your body has to work harder to warm up. Also, cold showers help stimulate a specific type of fat in the body that accelerates weight loss.
The researchers revealed that taking a cold shower stimulates brown fat, which is activated in freezing temperatures. Brown fat helps to eliminate dangerous white fat, which accumulates around the organs and waist. Cold showers can easily complement a healthy lifestyle to boost weight loss efforts.
6 - IMPROVES HAIR AND SKIN HEALTH
If you have chronically dry hair or skin, cold showers can help keep them looking vibrant and healthy once again. Cold water reduces the size of pores and tightens the skin, also reduces the amount of oils produced by the skin in warm temperatures. Hot showers irritate the skin and dry it out, causing the skin to lose moisture. Cold water helps stimulate hair follicles, increasing vitality and length.
7 - ACCELERATES THE BODY'S COOLING RESPONSE
Whether you just worked out at the gym or spent time working in the garden, a refreshing shower will feel amazing on your skin. Doctors recommend immersing your body in cold water if you have suffered from overheating or heat stroke, as it immediately lowers your body temperature.
8 - REDUCE PAIN AND SWELLING
If you've ever sprained your ankle or broken a bone, you know how much an ice pack can help with pain and swelling. Doctors have recommended elevating the legs and placing ice on the affected area for decades because it works so well for pain relief.
Cold showers work in the same way to heal an injury, although ice is still recommended as a supplement. Ice and cold temperatures help constrict blood vessels, reducing inflammation that causes pain and swelling. Cold showers can also numb the nerve endings responsible for transmitting a pain signal to the brain.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF COLD SHOWERS
Cold showers may not get a popular vote, but they have many benefits once you get over the initial body discomfort and shock. They can help fight depression, decrease pain and swelling, increase cardiovascular and lymphatic circulation, and decrease inflammation in muscles. Additionally, cold showers can aid weight loss, improve skin and hair health, speed up the body's cooling response, and much more.
Even if you only start out with a quick 3 minute cold shower, you will instantly feel the benefits and gradually gain more mental stamina to withstand a longer exposure. If you've never tried cold showers and have inflammation, depression, or dull hair or skin, you may have found the cold shower cure you've been looking for. Not to mention, cold showers will help you save money on your water bill since the water heater won't have to run that long!
Athletes rely on cold showers and ice baths to help their sore muscles after a hard game or workout, and you can reap the same benefits.