Embracing the cold tends to go against everything you want when it comes down to bathing as you are accustomed to the warm, fuzzy feeling throughout your body when that hot water hits your skin and you gradually relax until a sensation of sleepiness hits you. However, you have probably already heard many people and seen in a number of articles that cold showers are the new “hot trend” among people who lead an active lifestyle.
As scary as it might seem to let the ice-cold water hit your hot post-workout skin, there are a number of benefits to taking up this habit. So, after you finish your exercise session, turn the “cold” knob on the shower instead of the hot one and you will begin to reap the benefits yourself.
Weight loss stimulation
No matter how much you work on creating a basement gym where you have ideal conditions for exercising, you won’t see an actual improvement in your weight loss efforts or it won’t come as fast as you would have hoped if you don’t add other techniques and tricks.
As you shower with cold water, the brown fat in your body is activated, which results in an increase in the number of calories burned to keep your body warm. On average, it is said that you lose about 9 pounds per year only due to this increase in brown fat. Evidently, by accompanying this smart trick with working out, weight loss is bound to occur a lot faster than initially expected.
Lymphatic system draining
- What does the lymphatic system do?
A quintessential part of our functioning, the lymphatic system carries out waste from the cells, being a key defender against infections. In the event that it gets blocked, you will suffer from infections, joint pain, and colds a lot more frequently that you used to.
- How does cold water help in draining?
If you alternate between cold and hot water when you shower, the lymph vessels in your body will contract more rapidly, pumping the fluid that stagnated out to strengthen your immune system and help you become healthier.
Fast muscle recovery
Exercising through the use of rapid and repetitive motions provides fast results not only towards fat burning but towards strengthening the muscles and increasing their size. This is why boxers take up speed training and repetitively hit speed bags as fast and as hard as they can, stimulating muscle mass increase in an optimal manner to reach the desired performance quick.
Speed training does have one repercussion, however – your muscles are likely to become sore and painful. This is an outcome of intense sessions where you use heavy weights as well, and if you don’t take action to relieve the pain you feel, you won’t be able to exercise for a few days, disrupting your routine and decreasing quality in the expected results.
- Although an ice bath would be more efficient in muscle recovery, showering with cold water routinely will lead to the same results and in a much friendlier manner as well. What the low-temp water does is reduce swelling, reduce tissue breakdown, flush lactic acid out of the affected tissues, decrease metabolic activity, and improve blood circulation, thus leading to a faster recovery.
Although immersion in cold water can feel uncomfortable at first, it becomes invigorating quite rapidly as a result of your body going into overdrive to maintain its core temperature. Regular practice of cold showering will increase the efficiency of the circulatory system, which in turn benefits cardiovascular health as well as your health as a whole.
- Fun fact: A better circulation of the blood even leads to healthier skin and hair, so you won’t only feel better, but you will look better as well.
Temperature regulating system reset
There are a lot of people who complain that they feel cold at the slightest drop in temperature, and this is a warning sign that the body’s temperature control is not responding properly to environmental modifications. After you exercise, you are more likely to feel cold as your body is hot and sweaty, and even a small breeze of cold air can make you tremble as if you were in the North Pole.
- By resetting the temperature control through regular cold showers when your body is still hot after an intense workout, you get accustomed to harsher conditions, so you will catch a cold or feel uncomfortable when the temperatures drop a lot less often. Thus, you will feel warm all the time and won’t have to put on three sweaters at a time when winter comes as your resistance is improved.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is a key step towards preventing depression or atone it where it has already taken a toll. Besides exercising, if you are worried about your mental state and want to be more positive and increase the quality of your life as a result, you can also use cold water when you clean up as it stimulates the main source of noradrenaline of the brain. Additionally, the mild electroshock delivered to the brain increases the number of electrical impulses the brain receives from peripheral nerve endings, which in turn has quite an effective anti-depressive effect.