Cold Showers: Are They Worth the Pain?

By Justine Haarberg

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Cold showers- to make it simple, they’re miserable. However, I’m sure that you’ve heard about cold showers being beneficial to your well-being. Instead of stepping in to a warm, steamy, relaxing shower, you could be taking cold showers, but with a reward. Cold showers have many proven benefits, including improving your physical and mental well-being. But are these minutes of pain worth it?

Improve Circulation

When immersed in water colder than your body temperature, your body must work harder to maintain its core body temp. If taken consistently, taking cold showers can make your circulatory system more efficient. Increased blood circulation supplies more oxygen to the brain and other organs, resulting in healthier skin and cell growth. If you have an injury or bruise, increasing your circulation will bring fresher, more oxygenated blood to that area, speeding up recovery.

Increasing Alertness

If you are a morning shower taker, taking a cold shower can help wake you up. The shock you feel as the water hits your body results in deep breathing, increasing your heart rate and giving you a rush of blood that gives you a dose of energy.

Benefits Your Hair and Skin

Not only is cold water healthy for your hair and skin, but hot water is actually harmful in the long run. Hot water tends to dry out your skin, whereas cold water tightens your pores, decreasing the chance that they will get clogged. Jessica Krant, board-certified dermatologist, stated that “ice-cold or lukewarm water can help our skin and prevent it from being stripped of its healthy natural oils too quickly.” When it comes to hair, without hot water drying it out, your hair will be more shiny, strong, and healthy.

Eases Stress

Similarly to swimming in the ocean or jumping into a cold pool, taking cold showers is very invigorating, yet somewhat soothing. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is the application of water to your body to relieve discomfort and increase physical well-being. Peter Bongiorno ND, co-director of Inner Source Health in New York, concludes that “hydrotherapy has actually been in use since ancient times as a way to balance the body and mind.” He also states that “hydrotherapy is designed to take advantage of the natural body reaction to these changes in order to make the body stronger.”

Now that you have been introduced to the benefits of taking cold showers, it is up to you to decide. Are you willing to make the sacrifice of warm, relaxing showers in order to better your physical and mental well-being? Something as simple as changing the temperature of your shower water to under 70 degrees Fahrenheit has the ability to have lasting effects. Plus, don’t forget that cold showers will save you money.

 

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