9 Big Benefits of Taking Cold Showers – Part Two
Just the thought of it sends a shiver down your spine. The last thing you want to do after getting out of your nice warm bed is to get into a freezing cold shower.
But there are many studies that show the “torture” of a cold shower can deliver lots of benefits. Particularly for strength training and body building, as we saw in 9 Big Benefits of Cold Showers Part 1, they can help you manage your weight, speed-up muscle recovery times, strengthen your immunity system and improve your sleep.
And that’s not all. There are many more reasons to change your outlook of cold showers, and they’re not all physical
5. Strengthens Your Will Power
So how does the thought of having a cold shower every morning for the rest of your life strike you? It’s a major leap for anyone who lives for a steamy, hot bath. But, just like regular workouts build muscle, regularly summoning the mental fortitude to do something to which you are so resistant builds your will power. And that stronger resolve translates into other parts of your life, preparing you to tackle other seemingly impossible tasks and goals.
6. Increases Your Alertness
If you’ve taken cold showers before, you’ll know how the first blast of chilly water on your skin can literally take your breath away. You suck in air to brace yourself. That deep breathing dramatically increases your oxygen intake, especially when compared to a hot shower, which does the opposite. The extra oxygen also boosts your heart rate. Increased circulation of oxygen-rich blood is like a natural shot of energy that can improve your morning workouts and keep you sharper throughout the day.
7. Improves Your Mood
As a simple example, can you think of anything that will take your mind off your troubles more than a bracing blast of icy water? But there’s real science behind the ability of cold showers to boost your mood and even relieve symptoms of depression. Cold showers stimulate your brain’s production of noradrenaline, which is one of your body’s self-defense mechanisms against depression.
8. Makes You Look Better
If kick starting good moods and mental sharpness are not enough to get you into a cold shower, how about making your skin and hair feel and look healthier? Just like any source of heat, hot showers rob your hair and skin of natural oils. It can dry out your skin and leave your hair looking dull and lifeless.
9. Relieves Chronic Pain
Athletes and physically active people are more susceptible to ongoing joint and muscle pain from strains and sprains. Much of that pain is due to inflammation, which in turn is compounded by the cellular waste that often surrounds injured and stressed muscles and joints. Cold showers are known to boost circulation through your lymphatic system, which carries away the waste to reduce inflammation and the pain it causes. Improved blood circulation from cold showers also brings more oxygen to affected areas, further reducing pain.
Of course, whether or not you make the leap to cold showers is up to you. But it’s important to understand all the benefits so that you don’t make the decision based only on not wanting to step out of your comfort zone.