Wake Up And Energize Plus 9 Other Key Benefits Of A Cold Shower
If you are like most people, you probably enjoy the comfort of a nice warm shower or bath. That’s great. There is nothing wrong with that. Waking up with a cold shower can in fact help energize you, inside and out, and bring other benefits making the temporary resistance worthwhile. Once you get use to it, using cold water even at just the end of the shower, can be a welcome experience with many felt benefits.
I’m not a glutton for pain. I will relish brief discomfort, however, knowing there will be benefit on the other end. That’s life after all, isn’t it? Cold showers can be the same way at first. For me, I definitely had to ease my way into enjoying them. I use a variation of what can be called the Scottish Shower. I start off with the soothing warm water to get me going in the morning and then finish it off with an invigorating minute or so of cold water. The benefits have proven worthwhile to me so it is now a habit I look forward to every morning. Here are some tips and benefits to consider as you try it out.
Tips to get started
- Ease your way in. I like it how Per Wickstrom, states it. "It’s supposed to be therapeutic not self-torture.” Ice baths and certainly the Ice Bucket Challenge have their place, but for a daily routine, we want to make it doable and pleasant enough that you will stick with it.
- Turn the temperature slightly colder for some time at the end of your shower. Keep going step by step. Eventually, try splashing yourself with 100% cold water until you can stay under it.
- The resistance and thinking about it is worse than the actual experience.
- Sing, dance, shout, whatever it takes.
Contraindications and reasons not to take cold showers include
- Heart disease: the sudden shock/jolt to the system could trigger a heart attack.
- High blood pressure: Contracting the blood vessels could cause a stroke.
- Overheated or feverish: Your blood vessels need to dilate in order to release heat.
Key Benefits of Cold Showers
1. Energize and promotes alertness - Try it and you will know what I mean. I love this aspect.
2. Increases the immune system - the body ‘fits back’ by producing more white blood cells, increasing immune responsiveness and reducing oxidation stress in the body.
3. Promotes skin and hair health - while excess warm water tends to dry out the skin and hair, cold water rejuvenates it and can leave it softer. It may also help with acne and other skin conditions.
4. Promotes weight loss - Some fat cells that are activated in cold water, stimulating the burning of fat. This is the same concept that the ‘Thin Ice’ cold shoulder vest uses.
5. Eases stress and can release strained muscles - stimulate circulation with help with both of these.
6. Decreases varicose veins - the increased circulation and vascular constriction reduces the appearance of unwanted varicose veins.
7. Promotes mental strength. Again, just try it and you will know what I mean. Also, for men, it increases testosterone and fertility. Just FYI.
8. Detoxifies - the internal vascular constriction, encourages the toxins to flow towards the pores to exit the body. Always a good thing.
9. Reduces depression symptoms - studies have show that the cold water stimulates parts of the brain responsible for feeling happy. Go ahead and get your head under the cold water.
10. Cleanses the lymphatic system - not least in importance, in order for the body to heal properly, the lymphatic system must be cleansed regularly to function optimally. The cold water is one thing that will help. For anyone who has seen the documentary about Tony Robins, I’m Not Your Guru, you will know that he makes cold showers and plunges a regular part of his routine. If he does it, how about you?
Convinced yet that a bit of cold water won’t hurt you? Give it a try and let me know how you feel.