Almost everyone enjoys having a long hot shower after a hard day, and it’s certainly true that warm water has its benefits. The thought of turning the dial in the opposite direction might not sound quite as appealing, but if you can grin and bear it there are a wealth of seriously cool (pardon the pun) benefits to be gained from taking the plunge. Katharine Hepburn swore by her daily ice-cold shower, and if that’s not enough of a testimonial, we don’t know what is.
If you’re not feeling too brave, the good news is that you don’t need to endure your entire shower in cold water. It is actually far more beneficial to switch to cold for the last few minutes, giving your body a natural adrenaline boost that will wake you up and leave you energized to face the day ahead.
Hydrotherapy is the ancient practice of submitting our bodies to different temperatures for therapeutic effect. When we submerge ourselves in cold water, it increases blood flow to the brain and increases the release of the hormone norepinephrine which gives us a natural high. Guess that explains why sea swimming gives such a sense of wellbeing!
Whilst a hot shower might feel really good, it definitely isn’t great for your hair. That’s why salons recommend a cold water blast to lock in moisture and prevent split ends.
Our body’s natural response to cold water is immediate: blood is pumped through our arteries, boosting our heart’s efficiency and ensuring our vital organs receive the optimum level of oxygen. Which is basically good news for every part of our body.
When very cold (yes, you’ve got to turn that dial all the way!) water drenches our body, it dramatically increases our metabolic rate, which in turn boosts our body’s ability to burn calories. We’ll take that added bonus, thank you very much.
Reap the benefits of a spa plunge pool every morning and you will notice your skin is firmer and more toned as finishing off with an icy blast tightens pores.
We all know to put an ice pack on a sprained ankle, or apply a cold compress to an insect bite, but by incorporating a cold shower into your post-exercise routine you could ward off muscle soreness after an intensive workout session. Prevention is better than cure after all!
Studies have shown that cold-water immersion in any form — whether it’s a cold shower, ice bath, or dip in the ocean — drastically decreases uric acid levels in the body, a major contributor to stress.
It might sound counterintuitive since our go-to remedy for a good night’s sleep would usually be a warm bath, but actually the stress-relieving properties of a cold water blast will help knock insomnia on the head.
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