You know how you can pretty much tell how healthy a food is by how awful it tastes? Well the same rule can apply to other things as well, where the level of discomfort that you have to endure is directly proportional to health benefits. Cold showers seem to be one of those things. While not every beneficial aspect of this penguin impersonation has been scientifically proven, cold showers have been claimed to be able to help with a number of things for quite a while know, and a lot of people have adopted them as a regular part of their daily routine.
Apart from giving you the confidence that comes with being able to stare your fear in the eyes and beat it on daily bases, the health benefits of cold showers have been indicated to have numerous other, more tangible benefits.
One of the benefits of cold showers is that they are able to force you to breathe more deeply. This deeper breathing is the result of your body reacting to shock, and needing more oxygen in order to fight the stress. Once you have started to breathe this way in the shower, you are introducing more oxygen into the organism, which invigorates you and helps with your overall health.
One of the ways that our body battles cold is through the burning of the fat, and exposure to cold environments helps us create more brown fat. As you endure in your cold showers, the ratio of white/brown fat will be shifting in favor of the latter one, and it is brown fat that is burned when we are cold. This way you’ll be losing weight and your metabolism will speed up, which will not only result in even more weight loss, but improve your levels of energy, speed up chemical reactions in your body, end generally, make you feel healthier.
When your skin feels the cold water, the blood vessels closer to the surface will constrict and a portion of blood flow will be diverted towards your vital organs, as the body tries to protect them from the cold. This also increases your blood pressure and improves circulation.
Maintaining a Healthy Heart and Mind
One of the most important health aspects is a functioning cardiovascular system. Keeping a steady circulation is just one of the benefits cold showers provide. Even alternating cold and hot water is great for stimulating blood flow.
But what about the strain that overcomes the body during a long and stressful day? Cold showers can certainly help in relieving the tension and help you recover faster. They can even manage chemical levels in your brain by stimulating a certain spot and tricking your body into producing a chemical that relieves depression. If you get used to taking short cold showers and install them as a routine, you are on the right way of fighting and curing depression.
Even though you have probably been told as a child that you should do your best to keep yourself warm, a moderate exposure to cold environments can actually be very beneficial for your immunity. Exposure to cold showers has been proven to increase the number of lymphocytes and monocytes, types of white blood cells that help the immune system fight pathogens, viruses and bacteria. This is to say that you actually reduce the risk of getting a cold by taking cold showers, which is both the opposite and exactly the same as fighting fire with fire.
Hot showers may feel much nicer than the cold ones, but they also significantly contribute to the drying of your skin and hair. Additionally, cold showers seem to promote detoxification, or ejection of impurities and toxins through your pores, which is why a number of people have noticed that their acne or other skin blemishes started disappearing after a period of taking cold showers.
Ariel Bellamy is a creative writer and enthusiastic blogger who loves exploring health benefits of a well functioning and designed home. She is dedicated to make a green contribution to the world, and is always happy to be of help. You can follow her on Twitter @BellamyAriel.