The multiple benefits of cold showers
I know what you’re thinking, the prospect of replacing your warm and pleasant daily shower with a system-shocking cold shower is not particularly appealing. Taking a warm shower makes you feel fresh and revitalised, particularly after exercise or a hard day at the office. However, it’s important to note that for most of human history our ancestors never had the luxury of washing with hot water. In the Scandinavian countries (as well as other nations) the practice of swimming in ice water is deeply ingrained in the culture. According to recent studies, the practice of taking regular cold showers actually has multiple health benefits, both physical and psychological!
Cold water has a constrictive effect on blood vessels nearer the surface of the skin, this in turn stimulates your body’s natural blood circulation mechanism in order to redistribute blood to these areas. Improved circulation prevents the appearance of varicose veins, prevents health issues such as hypertension and allows your body to flush toxins more effectively.
Helps you to lose fat
Cold showers are a great way to increase your body’s metabolic rate. Taking a cold shower forces your body to immediately regulate its temperature, and this process burns up a lot of calories. Increased metabolism means that your body will burn fat more easily and will become more effective at muscle repair.
While hot water is known to dry skin out, cold water has the opposite effect – constricting your pores and preventing them from clogging up with dirt. This leads to blemish-free skin and a more rejuvenated and youthful appearance. Cold showers also stimulate the lymphatic system which means toxins are eliminated more efficiently, giving you a healthier appearance.
Few things can shock your system and wake you out of a daze more than an icy cold shower. Jumping into a cold shower will immediately make your heartbeat and breathing increase, making you feel incredibly alert and energetic. A cold shower could be a great way to prepare for a day at the office!
Regularly doing something that we don’t want to do (i.e. taking a cold shower), but that we know has benefits in the long run, helps to cultivate a level of willpower and determination which can be transferred to other areas of our lives. This strengthened willpower enables us to take the necessary and sometimes unpleasant steps required in order to achieve our long term goals in life.
Why not start today and see the benefits yourself? If you’re still on the fence, you could begin by committing to taking one cold shower a week and then increasing it to two or three times depending on how you get on. Alternatively, you could plunge right in and take a 30 day cold shower challenge!