Taking a cold shower has many more benefits besides waking up a drunk person or saving you money on heating water.
Taking a cold shower also:
- Increases alertness better than coffee. The cold stimulates circulation by increasing the heart rate and relaxing blood vessels. Your respiration rate increase to warm the body, thus increasing oxygen intake and reducing oxidization within the cells. These two changes wake you up and get you going.
- Improves health of skin and hair. Hot water strips away the natural, water soluble oils, excreted by the skin and hair follicles, thus drying them out. Hot water relaxes tissues causing sagging and eventually wrinkling. It opens pores and allows for the buildup of dirt and bacteria. Cold water tightens cuticles, pores, and collagen in tissues. This seals up the skin keeping dirt and bacteria out, thus preventing acne and infection.
- Improves immunity and circulation. As in number 1 cold water stimulates circulation, this includes lymph circulation. The better lymph and its associated immune cells can travel through the body the better they can kill and remove invaders.
- Aids in weight loss. Due to our body’s habit of storing two kinds of fat, white (excess calories stored around belly/thighs) and brown (surrounds and protects organs, adds insulation from heat/cold). Our body uses or burns very little white fat, especially when we’re hot. The more we expose our bodies to cold the more we develop brown fat and burn white fat.
- Eases pain and speeds recovery. With increased circulation comes increased removal of exercise and injury related acid and toxin buildup in the muscles and joints, thus reducing inflammation and associated pain.
- Eases stress and it’s effects. Cold stimulus in the shower or outside has been proven to promote tolerance to stress and resulting disease. Again, with increased circulation comes increased removal of toxins. Even those toxins created by feeling stressed. The stress of cold water assists the body in adapting to oxidative stress.
- Relieves depression. The stimulation of the nerves in cold water causes the release of an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This boosts mood by releasing endorphins and causing a strong antidepressant effect.
- Builds will power. It takes a lot of mental strength and will to purposefully take a cold shower, especially after being so acclimated to warm and comfortable showers. The more you do it the more you can do it.
- Increase and balance hormones. Along with increased circulation comes nerve and gland stimulation with exposure to cold. As glands are stimulated so are their excretions, which are all hormones. This improves the balance and function of hormones throughout the body.
- Improves sleep. By increasing and balancing hormones, it improves sleep hormone production as well. A cold shower before bed can work like a tranquilizer.
- Improves breathing. The shock of entering the cold water makes you take a full, deep breath. Breathing in cold water becomes deep and erratic, allowing for more oxygen to enter the bloodstream.