Nothing will make you shine more than a cold shower! That's right you heard me correctly, COLD showers!!
Most of us only ever cold shower if the hot water has run out and even then it's not really a shower so much as a splash and dash. Or maybe like me, you are familiar with cold water activities. I like to winter surf which is normally about 8 degrees and often I end up having a cold shower at the beach to wash the salt off. Actually, when all the campsites are closed I can be seen in my bikini in a large bucket using a garden spray bottle to shower with hahaha See below for sexy bikini shot!
Anyway, back to the point. So I have integrated cold showers into my daily morning getting up ritual, and I have to say, I love it! Cold showers can help in-
1. Waking You Up
Yes please!! Anything to help with morning grogginess. I do all the things you are supposed to do when you wake up to stave off the grog but I still am not as fully functioning as I would like to be first thing.
Science- When that cold spray hits your body, there’s a bit of shock. This shock increases:
- oxygen intake
- heart rate
2. Increasing Circulation
I have terrible circulation as I suffer from Raynauds, I was hoping it would help and reduce my intolerance to cold.
Science- As cold water hits your body and external limbs, it constricts circulation on the surface of your body. This causes blood in your deeper tissues to circulate at faster rates to maintain ideal body temperature.
3. Reducing DOMS (Delyoyed Onset of Muscle Soreness) Post-Workout
I was keen to see if this helped post a good goddess squat flow.
Science- Studies have shown that cold showers are one of the most effective ways to reduce DOMS, fatigue, muscle damage, and inflammation after physical exercise when compared to active recovery, massage, and compression garments.
4. Boosting Weight Loss
This wasn't the biggest selling point for me as I'm not actively trying to lose weight, but if it happens, I wouldn't complain.
Science- So some fat cells, such as brown fat, can generate heat by burning fat. They do this when your body is exposed to cold conditions like in a shower. When brown fat burns, it creates heat without shivering. This process is called thermogenesis. During this process, the brown fat also burns calories.
5. Healthier Stronger Hair
As someone with VERY fine hair, this was a big one for me! Scientific research is limited regarding the effect cold water has on your skin and hair but there is some evidence to its positive effects.
Science- According to an article published on the website NaturallyCurly.com, cold water closes and strengthens your hair cuticles. WIN! Unlike hot water, cold water doesn’t dry out the sebum layer, a naturally lubricated barrier that provides protection for your skin and hair. As a result, your hair may be more likely to become stronger and healthier over time.
6. Increasing Tolerance to the Cold
I am not great in the cold, being cold makes me grumpy. However, most of my activities involve the cold. Snowboarding, Surfing (in the UK its always cold), staying in the van for surfing, especially between November and April it can be bitter and sleeping in the van in the cold can actually be concerning for one's health.
I do actually remember going surfing the weekend of the Beast of the East and my wet suit froze in right angles from the table where left it to 'dry'
Anyway no science here, just hope that it will help with my tolerance to cold activities.
What have I noticed?
I can say from my 4-week trial, this is what I have experienced-
- Groggy to awake in 0.01 seconds
- Prolonged energy in the morning, I don't seem to get my mid-morning dip anymore
- Tolerance under duress and it's helping me to control my breathing when in stressful situations.
- Better mental focus in the mornings.
- My muscles recover faster after a power yoga sesh or a long walk (it's all uphill here so my calves and quads always get a beasting)
It's definitely something I worked towards, I started on warm and gradually during my shower turned it down finishing on cold, and here in the Alps, it is VERY cold! It wasn't the best feeling the first time but after a week, I saw an article by a woman doing the same and she said one day she just sucked it up and went straight for the cold, so I did it.
It's actually much easier this way rather than prolonging the inevitable. Now I have the hot on just a tiny bit during my shower and finish with freezing, it's so colds it takes your breath away but feels AMAZING after.
The strangest thing now is, I get into my cold shower and I love it, where I used to stand under a hot stream of lovely water and It felt all yummy, I now feel about the same about the cool sensation on my skin, it's fresh and reviving, I am even starting to look forward to it!