Friday, 20 September 2013

Health benefits: Cold showers

Now, I don't know if many of you know this but cold showers actually have a lot of health benefits! It's a bit strange for me to write this post in the middle of September when Winter is just around the corner, but I thought I'd let you guys know about it as a lot of people grimace and are horrified at the thought of showering in cold water! But if, like me, you enjoy a nice warm shower, just turn the temperature down for the last 5 or so minutes of your shower. It's not as bad as you'd think!

Hair & Skin

Hot water is quite drying for our skin and hair, whereas cold water tightens cuticles and pores which makes our skin and hair appear shiny and healthy.
As you probably know, a hot steamy shower opens up all your pores and lets you get all that crap out of your skin! But, it also leaves your pores open when you step out, allowing all the dirt to make it's way back into your skin once you're out of the shower. If you use cold water, your pores close which prevents them from getting clogged. This can be a drastic help for people who suffer with acne.
Cold showers can also make your hair stronger as it closes the cuticle, which prevents it from falling out.
Also, if you happen to have brightly coloured hair, washing your hair with cold water will also help maintain the colour!

Improves blood circulation

Alternating between hot and cold water during showers is a quick and easy way to improve your blood circulation. This is because of vasoconstriction and vasodilation. These are just fancy words for our arteries and veins constricting and relaxing due to temperatures.
Good circulation can prevent things like hardening of the arteries and the appearance of varicose veins.

Strengthening immune system

Some research and tests have made the discovery that cold showers increase your white blood cell count, meaning a strong immune system. A bit strange how a chilly shower can help prevent you getting a cold! Oh, the irony.

Increased metabolism

Exposure to cold temperatures stimulates the production of cells that burn glucose. This can overall promote weight loss.

Mental health

Some research has discovered that cold water can stimulate the brains main source of noradrenaline. Noradrenaline is the bodies response to stressful situations. This could mean that cold showers could help and prevent depression and anxiety.

All that just for standing under a rush of cold water for a few minutes? Yes please!

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