Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I take a cold shower every morning. Now when I say cold shower, I want to clarify exactly what I mean by that. Taking a full cold shower, meaning no hot or warm or lukewarm water at all, is borderline torture! Especially in the cold winter months. Besides, there are many benefits to taking a warm shower, the primary one being that it feels really good! In this context, is the practice of starting with a warm shower, and ending the last few minutes with cool to cold water.

Here are the benefits that you gain by incorporating a cold shower into your shower routine:
1- Better Circulation
Warm water makes the blood rush to your skin, and cool water makes the blood rush to your organs. This switching between hot and cold triggers better circulation in your blood by forcing the blood to move. The ideal practice would be to switch numerous times between hot and cold water, but merely ending the shower with cold water does help with circulation. Why should you worry about having good circulation? Well, it prevents such problems as hypertension, hardening of the arteries, water retention and the appearance of varicose veins among other things. Good circulation improves the performance of your system and thus help looking and feeling better.

2- Better looking skin
When you shower with warm water, it opens up your pores. Then you wash and this cleans up your pores. That’s all good. When you end, it would be best to close your pores and cold water does just that. It’s good to close your pores after you are all cleaned up because it will prevent the pores from being easily clogged by dirt and oil, which causes skin imperfections such as acne for example. Another benefit is that cold water makes your blood vessels constrict which reduces swelling and the appearance of dark circles under your eyes (where skin is at its thinnest). This provides you with a young, healthy glow.

3- Healthier hair
Cold water makes your hair look healthier and shinier. As a matter of fact, cool air makes your hair shinier too. What the cold water does is that it closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger and prevents dirt from easily accumulating within your scalp. Basically, the same principle with how it closes the pores of your skin as mentioned above. Stronger hair, of course, prevents hair from being easily pulled out when you are combing, and it helps in slowing down overall hair loss.

4- Strengthens immunity.
According to a study done in 1993 by the Thrombosis Research Institute in England, individuals who took daily cold showers saw an increase in the number of virus fighting white blood cells compared to individuals who took hot showers. Researchers believe that the increased metabolic rate, which results from the body’s attempt to warm itself up, activates the immune system and releases more white blood cells in response. It also improves the lymphatic circulation.

5- Mental benefits
There are plenty of mental benefits to ending your shower with cold water. The ancient samurai warriors used to pour buckets of cold river water (or cold waterfalls) on their heads every morning in a Shinto practice called Misogi. This was a purification ritual on a spiritual level. They believe that it cleansed their spirit and helped start a new day fresh.

6- Relieves depression..
Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine indicates that short cold showers may stimulate the brain’s “blue spot”- the brain’s primary source of noradrenaline — a chemical that could help mitigate depression. I guess a bout of the blues isn’t so bad after all.

7- Help With Weight Loss Success -
Cold water is said to increase your metabolic rate because your body has to burn through some calories to warm itself up. A higher metabolic rate is associated with faster weight loss. Because your metabolism is a natural calorie burning process, it stands to reasons that an increase in metabolic rate will help you in your efforts to reduce weight.

Cold water obviously helps waking you up, which is what you want in the morning. In fact it will wake you up much more efficiently than a cup of coffee. Also, it energizes you and invigorates your entire being. Give it a try, you will definitely feel more alive! It can even lift you up if you are feeling a little down or unmotivated. It also helps for mental toughness, and builds courage and will power.

Ending your shower with cold water clearly has its advantages. There are many benefits to cold showers, as you can see. I know this is something that can be very difficult for many people to do. The key is to not torture yourself. Go about it gradually. Start with a level of cold you can deal with, and slowly make it colder after each shower. Just start adding this routine at the end of your showers, you will be on your way to making a habit out of it and enjoy the benefits that this practice can bring you. I take one every day. It was not very pleasant when I first started but now I would truly miss it if I was to skip it all together.

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