Cold shower is an age old practice of promoting good health. Even the ancient Greeks who invented water heating systems for public baths, preferred taking cold water for good health. Even the Spartans, who were the premier fighting force of their time, would only bath in cold water believing that it toughen the body. Ancient Russians were also said to plunge into ice cold water for health. In Japan, Shinto practitioners would perform a ritual called Misogi where they would stand under an icy waterfall which they believed would cleanse their spirit.
It’s a natural anti-depressant. Exposure to cold water activates the sympathetic nervous system, releasing a chemical that mitigates depression. This makes you feel alive, peaceful, relaxed and ready to take on the day. A study also shows that cold shower has an analgesic effect.
To help you lose weight, cold shower activates brown fats in the body that generate heat by processing more energy to keep your body warm, and boost your metabolism. It also raises your blood glucose slightly, just enough to suppress your appetite.
Your blood circulation increases to help flush out toxins from your body and your skin. This is most beneficial to your cardiovascular system and blood pressure. It also prevents your arteries from hardening as well as your varicose veins. Your brain functions optimally due to increased blood flow, thus leaving you alert for a much longer period.
It strengthens your immune system. Taking a cold shower after a strenuous workout can reduce your muscle soreness in no time. Cold water alleviates the pain and stiffness felt in your muscles that last from several hours to days after a heavy exercise.
Unlike hot water that dry out your skin, cold shower temporarily tightens your skin as it constricts blood flow. This action prevents the natural oil of your body from being exposed by sealing the pores of your skin and scalp, at the same time preventing dirt, chemicals and residues from soap and shampoo from getting in. With cold shower, your hair becomes shinier, healthier and stronger.
It wakes you up in the morning… better than coffee. As cold water pours down on you, your body’s shock response causes you to breathe deeply increasing your oxygen intake and keeping you warm. Jumping into a cold shower causes the nerve endings of your skin to stand up at the same time boost your energy level. After the initial shock of a cold shower, your body relaxes and calms down. This makes you sleep better at night. And lastly, it saves you money from electricity bill and conserve water supply due to a shorten shower time.
Go ahead and start taking a cold shower, it’s all in the mind… and it can be overcome. And once you get used to cold showers, it’s easy, and eventually become a healthy habit.
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