Please, no cringing. I can’t explain how much more awake, energized, and awesome my clients and I feel after taking cold or contrast showers. Read on to see more benefits, then use your own judgement whether you actually want to start experimenting with them. You won’t regret it. Well actually, maybe you will, at first.
We are all high maintenance.We have the luxury of using hot water to bathe in and or shower consistently. People in ancient times, did not have the ability to do so. Therefore, it is very natural to be using cold or room temperature water to clean ourselves in, especially in winter!
Here are some of the benefits cold water showers:
I’ll keep the explanations short and sweet, but if you want more information on an idea I mention, comment below or message me,
One of the reasons this works, is because of the law of thermodynamics. If you expose your body to lower temperatures, it will use energy to try to heat your body back up, and therefore can increase your metabolic rate.
Since we implement diet induced thermogenesis for fat loss, why not try cold. I’m talking about when people start consuming things like caffeine, and ephedrine to cause their body produce more heat, but rather here we’re talking about cold thermogenesis. I explain more below.
Shivering and building muscle:
Shivering is a method used to increase our body temperature. During this time the body releases hormones that have the ability to produce muscle growth, and also increase energy expenditure and burn calories for the fat loss mentioned above.
Improves circulation throughout the entire body:
This is another benefit of cold water. It causes your blood to move to your internal organs, where warm water reverses the effect by causing the blood to move towards the surface of the skin. Therefore it can also keep the most important muscle in your body (your heart), healthy and strong.
After a cold shower I feel like a new person. You will “wake up” your nerves, release endorphins, and feel awesome after.
Helps you with your ability to handle lower temperatures:
If you hate cold weather, or have no ability to jump in the ocean, lakes or pools, this can help. It’s weird cold water doesn’t phase children. Now it won’t phase you as much either, when they ask you to join them for a good time.
As most of you probably already know, it keeps skin and hair healthy:
In this case old water does not act like hot, so it will not dry out your skin. It will actually help prevent that from happening. It also closes up your pores therefore your hair and skin are better able to protect itself from any harmful substances and obtaining things like acne. It also makes your hair shiny, soft and sleek and your skin from becoming oily through perspiration. In addition, since the cold water also makes blood vessels constrict, it can reduce dark circles under the eyes causing the skin to look much clearer.
Here are some more benefits that cold water is believed to have:
- Whoever you live with will love you for your shorter showers and less money being spent on your bills
- Less chlorine is inhaled through steam because less is made with cold showers
- Increases fertility in men
- Considered to be an anti-aging procedure
- Has an anti-depressant effect on your mood
- Balances the autonomic nervous system
- Promotes growth and repair of the circulatory system
- Contributes to your longevity
- Strengthens the immune system
How to take them, tips from experience, and things to take into consideration and look out for when starting:
Note: You need to know what I mean by hot and cold. Hot temperatures range from 95 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold temperature ranges from 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. When first starting cold showers, start with the water warm or hot for at least 2-3 minutes.
2. As you can better handle the water, work up to a longer “cold portion”.
3. Ask your Doctor if cold showers are okay for you to take.
4. Use your own judgement on whether you think cold or alternating between hot and cold showers make you feel phenomenal like it does myself.
5. Also take into consideration starting with cold water directly after a training session can cause some people to have muscle cramps. I myself have yet to experience this.
6. You need to do this for at least 4 weeks consistently. Otherwise it will just be another 1-2 week thing you say is either too hard, or doesn’t work. Give it chance if you’re healthy enough to do so. You won’t regret it.
7. Mark off on a calender days 1-28 or however long the month is: This will keep you reliable and so you won’t lose track of where you’re at.
8. Don’t wait to start cold showers in the winter. You will make the experience twice as hard if so.
9. Small steps lead to big changes: If you hop right into 10 minutes of a cold shower for the first time you attempt them. I can almost guarantee you will quit taking them in the long run if you do so.
Note: You will also most likely have “good” cold shower days and “bad” cold shower days in the beginning as well. Don’t let this be a reason you “give up”.
Being brutally honest, cold showers are terrible at first.
I was losing my breath when I first started taking them consistently. Even though I do not believe enough research has been conducted to say whether cold, or alternating hot/cold showers prove most of the above benefits above to be true, what I do know about cold showers is now that when I take them consistently I feel great. So have others I know that have implemented this.
All in all, there is some interesting stuff coming out concerning cold thermogenesis. NOT for acute injuries (actually quite the opposite), but for what I have mentioned above.
Getting your body exposed to colder temperatures, for a longer duration of time, and more often can be beneficial in numerous ways. Other modalities like ice baths, air conditioning, or keeping your windows rolled down in winter can also work well. The only way you will know though, is if you give this a true shot, and try this yourself.