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Though it’s definitely a daunting prospect, cold showers have numerous health benefits for both the body and the mind. Just a few proven benefits include improved circulation, healthier hair and skin and even depression relief. The pros far outweigh the cons in our book. Here’s our case for why you should hop in a cold one this summer – and even make it a regular habit.
HEALTHIER SKIN AND HAIR
While hot water can dry out and irritate skin, cold water actually works to tighten and seal cuticles and pores. Lukewarm to ice-cold water helps our skin by preserving the healthy natural oils. Cold water also makes for shinier, stronger and healthier skin by smoothing and flattening hair follicles.
PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS
There is clinical evidence that cold water stimulates healthy brown fat. Brown fat burns energy instead of storing it and research has shown that it can be activated to burn more of the unhealthy white fat through cooling your body. The calorie-loaded white fat is responsible for those extra few pounds on your waistline and stomach that you can’t seem to get rid of no matter what muscle group you work. Try a cold shower!
BOOSTS CIRCULATION AND IMMUNITY
Cold water improves circulation by boosting the arteries’ ability to pump blood. This boosts overall heart health and helps combat skin and heart problems by encouraging blood to the organs. It can also lower blood pressure, help clear blocked arteries and even improve the immune system.
EASES AND REPLENISHES SORE MUSCLES
Cold showers help metabolites and waste products that have built up during exercise get removed more efficiently. They also help speed the restoration of vital nutrients to fatigued muscles. Especially during the summer, rinsing off under cold water can be exactly what you need to seal the endorphin high.
A 2007 study found that cold showers can relieve depressive symptoms quite effectively. With regular use, they may even be more effective than prescription antidepressants. This is due to the cold water’s stimulation of the parts of the brain involved in emotion. Immersion in cold water or a cold shower stimulates dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathway which a large body of research has linked to depression.
For an added circulation boost, dry brush your entire body before hopping in. You can either start with a warm shower and then turn it to cold at the end or hop straight into the cold. Focus on your breath and try to remain under the water until you are no longer cold. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the longer you will be able to stay under. The way you feel after is way worth it!
You’ve got this!