We’ve all been through it. Last one in the shower and now the geyser’s out of steam. You’re not looking forward to that icy cold shower, but you should be. Coined the ‘Scottish Shower’ and, more romantically, the ‘James Bond’ shower, bathing in frigid water has been a litmus test for toughness since times immemorial, but here are a few genuine reasons you should be doing this beyond proving how macho you are.
1. Soothe Sore Muscles
If you’re an athlete who suffers from post-workout soreness (basically, every athlete), the cold showers may just be the thing for you. In a study conducted in 2009 concerning over 300 athletes (bikers, runners and weight-lifters), it was concluded that taking a twenty-minute bath or shower significantly reduced the muscle pain and soreness that goes hand in hand with intense training. However, the water temperature had to be maintained at ten to fifteen degrees Celsius, or even lower, to be effective.
2. Cold Shower to Relieve Depression
A study in 2008 brought to attention that cold showers could help relieve depression symptoms. That has to do with the analgesic effect on our body’s temperature receptors, plus the fact that immersion in cold water sends a massive amount of electrical stimuli up to our CNS and results in an anti-depressive effect. Pretty neat, eh?
3. Restore Your Natural Skin Oil
We bet you didn’t know that cold showers can help your skin. In an interview with The Huffington Post, a board certified Dermatologist asserted that hot showers actually strip our body of its natural healthy oils, and force our pores wide open. Cold showers do the opposite, by tightening our pores, they prevent dirt and grime from clogging our pores.
4. Cold Shower for Stronger Hair
Our hair follicles get stronger as well by the same logic. The pores on our scalp get tighter, and therefore, make it harder for your hair to fall out.
5. Body Strength
Cold showers aid in what is known as ‘body hardening’. This means that your body learns to become more resilient to stressful situations. It’s a psychological mind-game. You develop the ability to maintain composure under adverse conditions. Just recall how James Bond would always take ‘Scottish showers’ in the books, and he’s the gold standard for calm and composed.
6. Improved Blood Circulation
Bathing in frigid water goes a long way in improving our circulation, and thereby, boosting our immunity. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, it is even known to clear clogged arteries and improve arterial pumping of blood around the body.
7. Cold Shower Decreases Uric Acid
A study in 1994 found that there was a dramatic decrease in Uric Acid levels in people who took cold shower regularly.
8. Increased Antioxidants
The same study also concluded that the same subject population had an increased level of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps other antioxidants perform to their maximum ability.
9. Take Cold Shower to be Active
Taking cold shower first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do for yourself in terms of staying alert and active throughout the day. The effect of the cold water is to stimulate deep breathing and increased pumping of healthy, oxygenated blood throughout your body. That should give you a nice strong start to any day.
10. Sense of Accomplishment
This is another psychological mind trick, but bathing in less than favorable waters can really help build your motivation and will-power. Think about it. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. You did something difficult, something that is ultimately good for you. That’s a big win. And that’s how will power is built. Small steps that lead to big wins!
Image Credits: google