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Posted in Health & Wellness, Holistic Health Care, Natural Living

Endure the Cold! Health Benefits of a Cold Shower

Written by Jesse Richardson on May 11, 2012 with 6 Comments

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ShowerEveryone 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.

6 Comments

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  1. My people, the Russians, have long taken cold showers in the morning (and really really hot dry saunas for a good sweat). I haven’t heard of a mother throwing cold water on a lazy child. That sounds horrible….

  2. Every day I finish my shower with cold water, it can be tough to handle sometimes but it has really helped me with my acne problems so I recommend everyone to give it a go.

  3. [...] [Source] [Source] [Source] **Do you ever take cold [...]

  4. [...] immunity against infections/sickness Mood booster Decrease muscle soreness or chronic pain Improved circulation Healthier skin and hair Deepen your breathing Increase [...]

  5. Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy – Showers

    One’s circulation can be given a tremendous boost by taking a shower and alternating the flow of water from hot to cold, back and forth 7 times in a row. The result is invigorating and extremely healthful.

    Why Hot and Cold Therapy Works

    When the body is subjected to cold external temperatures, the flow of circulation is directed inward toward the internal organs. As the outside temperature gets hot, the flow of circulation goes outward toward the skin. Alternating hot and cold makes the circulation move in and out like an accordion. This has the effect of unblocking stuck flows, increasing the rate of detoxification and moving nutrients more readily to various parts of the body.

    You can use hot and cold showers to “get into gear” in the morning or, ironically, use it at the end of the night to get an unusually restful night’s sleep.

    This is how to do it:

    1. Make sure that the water used does not contain chlorine, fluoride or other highly toxic chemicals commonly used in public water supplies. It is counter-productive to greatly increase one’s circulation and at the same time drive in a large dose of toxic chemicals. If you cannot readily filter these chemicals out of the water before it comes into your home, install a shower head filter that is truly effective in this regard. You can get on for about $30 that uses replacable carbon cartidges.

    2. Get completely wet with a temperature of water that is comfortable.

    3. Slowly increase the temperature up to the point that you can barely stand it. Quickly expose all the parts of the body to this hotter water including the top of your head and your face.

    4. Now turn the water temperature down to the coldest tolerable setting. No matter how cold the water is, at its coldest, it cannot harm you in any way. The only thing stopping you from going to the coldest setting is your ability to confront the experience. Make sure all parts of your body get this cold water exposure.

    5. Next turn the water to hot again but make it a little hotter than you had it before. Again, get each part of your body good and hot before reversing the temperature to the coldest setting.

    6. Repeat the procedure seven times – seven times hot, seven times cold. Always begin with hot and end off with cold. Make the temperatures as hot and as cold as you can tolerate.

    7. Hot and cold showers can be taken 2 or 3 times a day as a therapeutic measure to enhance the effectiveness of a natural health repair program. These showers can be a godsend in that they are inexpensive, convenient, never cause any harm and always make you feel better. Give this routine a try and see!

  6. I’ve always tried to finish my showers with a burst of cold water for the skin and hair benefits you mentioned: I find I have less acne and shinier hair when I do this. But I never knew about the benefits for your immune system! It’s sort of counter-intuitive though isn’t? Usually cold water in the shower makes me feel a little sick–like a I have a fever or something. Good to know it’s beneficial discomfort!

  7. Awesome post – something so simple has so many health benefits!

    I’m going to start my cold shower routine tomorrow morning :)

  8. i agree with, that a cold shower specially in the early morning is very good and beneficial for circulation of blood and skin/hair health but not sure for, in the winter. can anybody help me?

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