This is the first article of many where I will be studying things related to health, wealth, love, happines, self improvement and life hacks. As the title tells, this one is about cold showers.
There is nothing special about hot showers
Hot showers are a luxury and not a necessity. Throughout most of human history, people had to bathe in whatever water was available to them. A google search on warm showers yielded practically nothing, I think that says it all.
Strengthens Will Power
Cold showers build massive will power. Doing something you are so resistant to, every single day, right when you wake up, takes a lot of mental strength. Overtime, this mental strength and discipline will become an automated habit that echo’s into every area of your life.
Jumping into the shower without letting it heat up, or going into the ocean without slowly getting used to it, can help promote hardening, increasing tolerance to stress, and even disease. A 1994 study found a drastic decrease in uric acid levels during and following exposure to a cold stimulus. There was also an increase in glutathione, an antioxidant that keeps all other antioxidants performing at their optimal levels.
But don’t be scared. This extreme deep breathing, at 8AM every morning, is going to dramatically increase your oxygen intake & heart rate, resulting in a natural dose of energy throughout the day.
On top of the icy cold water, this deep breathing will leave you feeling alert, instead of a groggy zombie like your coworkers.
Improves Your Skin & Hair
When it comes to hair and skin, one of the most natural ways to maintain your appearance is with cold showers. Hot water has the tendency to dry out our skin, so it’s best to use cold water to tighten your cuticles and pores, which will prevent them from getting clogged. Cold water can “seal” the pores in the skin and scalp too, preventing dirt from getting in.
When it comes to hair care, cold showers can make hair appear shinier, stronger, and healthier by flattening hair follicles, and increasing their ability to grip the scalp.
Stimulates Weight Loss
Cold showers can aid weight loss in an unexpected way. The human body contains two types of fat tissue, white fat and brown fat. White fat is accumulated when we consume more calories than our body needs to function, and we don’t burn these calories for energy. This body fat piles up at our waist, lower back, neck, and thighs, and is the one we all struggle to eliminate. Brown fat is the good fat, which generates heat to keep our bodies warm, and is activated when exposed to extreme cold. Thus, cold showers can promote brown fat activity.
A study found that exposure to extreme cold temperatures activated brown fat in participants by a 15-fold increase, meaning someone could lose up to nine pounds in a year if they kept this practice up.
Increases Testosterone & Boosts Fertility
One of the coolest benefits of cold showers, for men, is that they will cause a rise in testosterone levels.
Another interesting benefit of cold showers is that they will boost your sperm count and increase fertility.
Taking hot baths has been proven to be an effective male contraceptive. Men who took a half hour hot bath every other day for 3 weeks were rendered infertile for the next 6 months!
Improves Circulation & Immunity
Cold water can improve circulation by encouraging blood to surround our organs, which can then help combat some problems of the skin and heart. As cold water hits the body, it’s ability to get blood circulating leads the arteries to more efficiently pump blood, therefore boosting our overall heart health. It can also lower blood pressure, clear blocked arteries, and improve our immune system.
Drains Your Lymphatic System
An additional, yet crucial, part of the body that is affected by cold showers is the lymphatic system. What the lymphatic system does is help carry out waste from your cells. This is key in defending your body from unwanted infections. And when the lymphatic system is blocked, it will show up in symptoms such as frequent colds, infections and joint pain.
Cold showers, when alternated between hot and cold water will help your lymphatic system, by contracting the lymph vessels when exposed to the cold and relaxing them when exposed to the heat. This essentially pumps the fluid that may have stagnated in your lymph vessels out, resulting in a stronger immune system and healthier you.
Speeds Up Muscle Recovery
Athletes often take ice baths after vigorous training do reduce soreness. You don’t have to take it that far, but you can obtain a similar benefit with a quick cold shower after your training sessions.
Cold showers have been shown to relieve depression symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. Thus, it produces an antidepressive effect, and boosts moods, making it a pick-me-up.
Cold showers stimulate what is known as “the blue spot,” which is the brains primary source of noradrenaline – a chemical which plays a role in alleviating depression.
Wakes You Up & Puts You to Sleep
An ice-cold shower is going to get your ass up in the morning. We already talked about how they will scientifically increase your alertness, but science aside – if you have trouble getting up and pumped for the day, cold showers will change this.
Ironically, while cold showers wake you up in the AM, cold therapy is one of the best ways to get an incredible nights sleep.
Some people with certain conditions should avoid cold showers because of the shock to the body’s system. If you have the following conditions, it would be best not to try cold showers.
- Heart disease. If my normal, healthy heart-felt like it was about to explode, imagine how a diseased heart will feel.
- High blood pressure. The contraction in your blood vessels caused by cold water could cause a stroke. Apparently.
- Overheated or feverish. Your blood vessels need to dilate in order to release heat. Cold water causes them to constrict.