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Hot showers have long been deemed a stress melter, but what you’re likely to encounter after a hot shower is far from the idealism of relaxation and calmness. Learn 10 fascinating health reasons why you should make the switch to cold showers instead.
1. Improve Skin, Hair, and Nails
Hot showers are highly damaging due to their intense heat. Hot showers are irritating and drying, which can contribute to itchy, flaky, and dull-looking skin, all of which can cause premature aging. Combined with the harsh ingredients found in shower products, hot showers can greatly compromise your skin.
The high temperature of showers can also impact the health of your hair and nails as they remove moisture from these exposed areas. Over time, nails become brittle and hair loses its moisture and becomes frizzy and difficult to manage.
Cold showers have the opposite effect because it allows your skin, hair, and nails to breathe. Cold water stimulates the face, which can help slow down the aging process. In addition, cold water works as a toner to tighten pores by constricting blood vessels in your skin. A decrease in redness and puffiness is common when you switch to taking cold showers as cold water also produces a calming effect, similar to the effects you would get from a jade roller.
Because cold water closes cuticles and discourages water loss, hair and nails are consequently strengthened through cold showers. Hair and nails look noticeably healthier as they regain sheen and luster.
2. Reduce Stress, Anxiety, & Depression
Cold showers have been linked to reducing levels of cortisol. When we experience high levels of stress and anxiety, our bodies pump out massive amounts of this “flight-or-flight” hormone.
Another study found that exposure to cold water increased gluthathione levels, an antioxidant that helps other antioxidants perform better. Antioxidants play a large role in how we regulate physical, emotional, and mental stress.
Cold therapy is endorsed by famous cold guru Wim Hoff (The Iceman) as a means to lower stress and anxiety levels as well as a way to increase energy, heighten focus, improve performance, increase willpower, better sleep, enhance creativity, strengthen the immune system, speed recovery, and more.
3. Promote Fat Loss
A way in which cold showers promote weight loss is through the actions of brown fat cells. Brown fat cells have the ability to generate heat by burning fat stores.
Cold showers stimulate brown fat cells to burn calories in order to warm the body, but only a minor amount of fat can be lost this way. Remember: A healthy diet along with daily exercise are the only tried and true methods for weight loss success.
4. Boost Immunity
White blood cells are your body’s means of eradicating disease and illnesses. Cold showers boost the immune system by increasing your white blood cell count.
Cold showers cause your metabolic rate to go up as more energy is expelled to keep your core body temperature at a constant. This increase in metabolic rate stimulates immune system to put out more white blood cells, boosting general immunity.
5. Increase Circulation
In order to maintain a constant core body temperature, the heart must pump blood faster to keep up with demands. This results in an increase in circulation, which is beneficial in lowering blood pressure, detoxification, and clearing blocked arteries.
6. Drain Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system’s job is to rid the body of toxins and waste through the transportation of lymph fluid.
Another benefit of increased physiological activity during cold showers is enhanced drainage of the lymphatic system.
7. Normalize Testosterone Production
Because hot showers are harmful to the testes, they can negatively affect testosterone production.
While studies have not shown conclusive evidence that cold showers can increase testosterone production, it’s understood that they can normalize testosterone levels.
8. Boost Fertility
As previously mentioned, heat can decrease testicular function, which can cause fertility problems down the line. Spermatogenesis is affected when the testes are exposed to high heat so turning the water temperature down may be a step in the right direction for men with fertility issues.
9. Promote Faster Muscle Recovery
Cold showers have similar effects to placing ice packs on strains and injuries. Not only does cold water relieve pain and soreness through its anti-inflammatory properties, it also promotes muscle recovery by increasing circulation and detoxification.
10. Better Sleep
Taking a cold shower before bed cools your body to an appropriate temperature for bed and readies it for sleep.
In addition to these health benefits, taking frequent cold showers contribute to an increase in willpower, focus, and creativity. See what opportunities open up when you make it a habit to turn the water temperature down.
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