There’s nothing better than a hot shower, unless it’s a cold shower. While there isn’t a great deal of good science on shower temperature, there are plenty of anecdotal accounts about the benefits of cold showers relative to hot ones. And in fact, there’s plenty of positive results that can be observed through experience and common sense. Let’s take a look at why, the next time you hop in the shower, you may not want to turn up the temperature quite so high.
Hot showers might feel good and help you relax, but they can also take their toll on your skin. Everybody knows that the pores on our skin open up in hot temperatures; this is how we sweat, after all. This also happens in the shower and tub. Except you are being washed by water before it’s noticed.
In any event, when your pores are open, they release moisture, and this can dehydrate the skin. Have you ever felt extremely thirsty after spending a long time in a hot tub? This is part of the reason why.
On the other hand, cold showers cause pores to shrink, and blood flow to the skin to increase (more on this later). The result is that your skin will retain moisture and gain nutrition from the increased blood flow. Goat’s milk soap by Zum can be the ideal companion for your cold shower, working to nourish your skin from the outside along with the effect of the water. Qtica Total Hydrating Therapy lotion can help seal in the moisture once you’ve left the shower, too! Renewal Cream from BWC can also help.
Immune System and Metabolism
Increased blood flow can also boost immunity and metabolism. Cold shower temperatures have further effect on metabolism by affecting the way our bodies burn fat. The body has two kinds of fat: brown and white. The white fat is the stuff many of us want to be rid of. When our brown fat gets cold, it engages a process that burns white fat for fuel or warmth. By getting cold in the shower, you can kick start this process, and likely burn a few extra calories than you would if you were warm.
Mood and Alertness
Anyone who has taken a cold shower understands its effect on alertness. It can be quite shocking, and the sensation can last for hours. The shock of cold water doesn’t work by magic. In fact, it stimulates the heart to beat faster, thus supplying warm blood to the surface of the skin. This increased heart rate also sends extra blood to our brains, which in turn boosts our wakefulness and our mood.
It’s no accident that people who engage in crazy activities like Polar Bear runs (you know the guys on Youtube who run into icy water in Speedos?) look so happy while they’re doing it. Of course, your shower at home won’t be so cold as that, and you probably won’t have any company while you’re getting clean, but a certain degree of alertness and mood boost can be yours nonetheless.
There you have it, a few reasons why you should take a cold shower next time you need to get clean. It may not be as immediately satisfying as your regular hot shower, but there are some potential benefits you may enjoy. Give it a try and see if maybe this new way of living is right for you.