Do you like to have a hot, steaming shower in the morning? While hot water showers have their own pros, did you know that a cold shower can also do you a lot of good too? From calming itchy skin to enhancing your blood circulation, cold showers have many health benefits. But which one is better? We give you the complete rundown in this blog. Keep on reading for more!
The benefits of taking a cold shower include:
Cold showers might not be a good idea if you’re already cold, since the cooler temperature isn’t going to help warm you up by any means. It could actually make you even colder and increase the amount of time it will take for your body to warm back up. Additionally, they may not be a good idea if you’re sick. The cold temperature might be too hard on your immune system, so it’s best to ease into the cooler temperatures.
If you have trouble relaxing or falling asleep at night, you might be tempted to take a hot shower to ease the stress of the day. This is a common practice for muscle relaxation before going to sleep because hot showers activate the parasympathetic nervous system which makes us tired.
Other benefits of hot showers include:
Yes, taking a hot shower does have some downsides. Hot showers can dry out and irritate your skin. The hot water causes damage to the keratin cells that are located on the outermost layer of our skin. Disrupting these cells creates dry skin and prevents the cells from locking in moisture causing you to itch.
They can also make certain skin conditions worse. Higher temperatures make it easier for the skin to dry out and worsen conditions like eczema or psoriasis. They can even increase your blood pressure. If you have problems with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, taking a shower that’s too hot can make these conditions worse.
There are obvious benefits to both hot and cold showers, so what should you do? Well, in an ideal world, you should take a lukewarm shower since it’s the healthiest option for your body and skin.
However, another approach to try is a contrast shower. Basically, you get the water as cold as possible and stand in it for one minute. When the minute is up, you then change the water to as hot as you can handle for an additional minute. Alternate between one minute each of cold and hot for three to five cycles.
The health benefits come from the cold water constricting the blood vessels. Then the hot water opens the blood vessels and all the blood comes rushing out again. This can pump blood through the muscles and organs faster and is great for helping with regeneration and detoxification.
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