For me, waking up to a hot shower is one of the most relaxing ways to begin the day. However, there is the occasional morning where I am the last one to make it into the shower, leaving me with nothing but icy water and frustration. Despite how much we all might dislike cold showers, the benefits of taking them far outweigh the negatives.
In addition to your active wellness therapy at Foot Palace, simply turning the shower temperature down may help to improve your long-term physical and mental health.
Improved Hair & Skin Health
Although that hot shower may be the most comfortable way to wake up in the morning it may not be the best for your skin. Hot water can leave your skin dry and itchy long after you’ve gotten out of the shower, so it’s best to use cold water to tighten those pores which helps to prevent clogging. This tightening of the pores helps to prevent dirt and sweat from being trapped inside. Not only do cold showers show positive results with skin but with hair as well. The cold water helps to tighten the follicles, leaving you with the appearance of healthier, stronger and shiny hair.
Surprisingly enough, research has shown that cold stimulation can actually lower stress levels. When exposed to cold stimuli the body increases its glutathione, an antioxidant that helps keep other antioxidants performing at optimal levels in the body. A 1994 study found a drastic decrease in uric acid levels during and following the body’s exposure to cold. According to the study repeated exposure to cold water led to adaptation of oxidative stress.
Cold showers have been shown to relieve depression symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. Thus, it produces an antidepressant effect, and boosts moods, making it a pick-me-up. A 2008 study found that cold hydrotherapy has an analgesic effect, and does not appear to have noticeable side effects or cause dependence. This treatment included one to two cold showers of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, two to three minutes long, followed by a five-minute gradual adaptation to make the procedure less shocking.
Faster Muscle Recovery
We all know taking ice baths after training can reduce muscle soreness, but a quick cold shower after breaking a sweat at the gym can be just as effective. A 2009 study analyzing 360 people over seventeen trials found that 24-minute cold water baths were effective in relieving sore muscles one to four days after exercises with a water temperature of 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Greater Circulation and Immune Health
Cold water can improve circulation by helping blood to surround our organs, which can then help combat some problems of the skin and heart. When cold water hits the body, its ability to get blood circulating leads the arteries to more efficiently pump blood, boosting our overall heart health. It can also lower blood pressure, clear blocked arteries, and improve our immune system.
If you enjoyed this information, visit yourfootpalace.com/10-wellness-tips-to-a-healthier-you/ for other health and wellness tips, and consider turning down your temperature so you can experience these benefits.