For a long time, people have been encouraged to take cold showers and baths. In fact, this practice dates back as far as Victorian times, and probably further into human history.
Whether you’re taking an ice cold shower first thing in the morning, or dipping into an icy sea for a midnight swim, the appeal of cold water can be strong for some people. However, for others, there’s nothing worse than the thought of the shock that icy water can cause to the body.
Nonetheless, increasing numbers of people are choosing to opt for the invigorating, refreshing and energizing effects of cold water over the comforting warmth of a long hot shower. But why?
Researchers believe that hot showers can dry out the skin. By stripping the skin of the natural oils that keep it lubricated and moisturized, hot showers can damage sensitive skin and even contribute to skin conditions such as eczema. Cold water, on the other hand, locks in the skin’s natural moisture and keeps is soft and supple in even the harshest weather conditions, say experts.
Cold water is also great for the skin as it closes pores. Open pores attract dirt and bacteria and are one of the biggest causes of spots and pimples. While warm water opens the pores, cold water closes them, much like a toner does, protecting against the causes of pimples. d
Visible pores are also unsightly and a cause of embarrassment and shame for many women in particular. Cold water is believed to help shrink the pores, making them less visible to the naked eye.
This hatric of skin benefits makes it no wonder that dermatologists have been recommending cold showers for so long. Don’t mistake the benefits of a cold shower to be limited to the skin though.
A huge number of studies have been conducted into the effects of cold water on the body. These studies have been of high quality, and their results are impressive. Here, we have a list of 4 other incredible effects of cold water on the body.
Heart Health – In addition to lowering high blood pressure and relieving hypertension, cold water can improve blood circulation by opening up the blood vessels and facilitating easier blood flow.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that 610,000 people die from heart disease every year. These effects are particularly important as we age. This is because heart problems are significantly more common later in life.
So, the fact that cold showers have been proven to tackle the most common causes of heart disease is, in itself, enough of a reason for us all to be ditching hot water for cold.
Weight Loss – There are two types of fat in the human body; white fat and brown fat. White fat is the type of fat that accumulates as a result of an imbalance of caloric intake and exercise. This is the type of fat that so many people try to lose. Brown fat, on the other hand, is the good fat that we all need to keep us warm and healthy.
Surprisingly, studies have shown that cold water boosts our brown fat tissues and encourages white fat loss.
Stress – There’s something about washing in cold water that gives a person a feeling of washing all their troubles away. Stress affects us all in various ways, and although a little bit of stress isn’t going to kill you, excessive stress can have some alarming effects on the body.
This is why, finding any way to relieve stress is an important step for us all to take. For a great many people, that comes in the form of a refreshingly cold shower.
Muscle Recovery – It’s no secret that taking cold showers is a common practice for people in professional sport. Known as cryotherapy, this practice has been proven to speed up the recovery of injured muscles and restore them to tip top shape in no time at all.
Hemp oil can be beneficial as it refers to all skin types and can moisturize while avoiding clogging your pores. Problems with oily skin can be balanced out as it can help with hydrating and regulating the skin’s natural oil production.
Hemp oil has anti-aging properties which can help with reducing fine lines and wrinkles whilst tackling signs of aging. Important acids found in hemp oil (such as linoleic and oleic acids) can’t be produced in our bodies but aid in anti-aging and skin health. Using hemp oil as a shampoo, massage oil, and facial moisturizer has been said by many to be beneficial, however, there are not enough studies done to prove this as factual.
However, you don’t need to be a pro athlete to benefit from the principles of cryotherapy. In fact, if you’ve had a long day at the office, or a particularly bad nights sleep, a cold shower might be just the thing to have you feeling like your best, most agile self again.
While bathing in icy cold water may not be for everyone, there’s no denying the fact that it has some health effects that we could all benefit from. In the end, it comes down to a matter of choice for each individual and whether or not it’s worth the health benefits.
According to Dr. Jessica Krant, cold showers can work wonders on dry skin. This is why she recommends opting for them during the winters months in particular, when our skin is even more prone to dryness.
But studies show that there are many other benefits to be gained from cold showers that can have a positive impact on our health and wellness.
A long shower is one of the best parts of the day for many people. A chance to wash off the days events and relieve stress, no wonder so many people look forward to it. However, using that time to do some good for your body as well as your mind is something you might not have considered.
No matter what your feelings about the shock caused when cold water hits your skin, a quick cold shower every once in a while could do your mind and body a world of good. So, why not turn the water temperature down the next time to step in under the shower, and test the theory for yourself.