Everyone has their morning routine, and showers are often a part of it (hopefully). Although it can be tough, especially after a few minutes of relaxing, warm showering, toughing it out and facing some cold water can really help keep your body healthy – and in more ways than one. Here’s a few reasons why you should endure a few minutes of cold water:
Number 1. Wake yourself up!
Cold water does a fabulous job at waking up the body (that’s why Moms throw it on the lazy child!). If you’re having a tough time getting going in the morning, taking a quick blast of cold water can perk you right up. This helps jump start both your mood and motivation for the day. It also helps you quickly finish bathing, which helps save water – always a good thing!
Number 2. Improve Skin and Hair
If you find yourself with dry skin and weak hair, taking a cold shower may be just what you need. Bathing your entire body in cold water for 2-4 minutes helps rejuvenate your skin and hair. After opening your pores and washing them out, you’ll naturally want to seal them back up!
Cold water helps in a similar fashion when it comes to hair, too. After you wash your hair in warm water, using both your shampoo and conditioner, bathing in cold water helps close cuticles. This helps support hair strength and even comes with the added benefit of shiny, less frizzy appearing hair.
Number 3. Boost your Circulation
According to Alexa Fleckenstein, M.D., author of Health20, a cold shower helps train and improve your circulation. Cold water brings blood to the capillaries, boosting the circulatory system and releasing tight muscles. The improved circulation will actually help boost your mood and relieve physical and mental stress.
Number 4. Improve Immunity and other Bodily Functions
Dr. Fleckenstein goes on to mention that cold showers also enhance immunity, decreasing the likelihood of infections and even cancer. It does this by improving one’s lymphatic circulation. Additionally, in a study done by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, taking cold showers correlated with an increase in the number of viruses fighting white blood cells.
It also has the effect of strengthening your mucous membranes, helping your body combat allergies, colds, and hay fever.
Number 5. Increased Testosterone and Fertility
In the same study at the Thrombosis Research Institute, it was also found that cold showers increased testosterone in men. The added testosterone helped increase strength and energy levels, as well as libido.
Likewise, it has been demonstrated that fertility in men also benefits with cold showers (or baths). The testes, which are naturally meant to avoid too much heat, benefit greatly from such practices, and in one study done by the University of California, San Francisco, men saw a 491 percent increase in sperm count, paralleled by an increase in sperm mobility.
Number 6. Save Energy – Boost the Health of the Environment
Although this isn’t much of a health benefit for a person, it’s still worth mentioning. Using cold water not only gets you out of the shower quicker, saving water, but it also saves energy needed to warm the water. Turning half of your shower into ‘cold time’ can help reduce energy consumption, and in extent, boost the health of the environment!
Originally published Oct 9, 2011.