It may seem to go against our natural instincts, but foregoing warm baths for icy-cold showers actually has many benefits. Some of them may surprise you, and most of them have immediate effects! Turn that dial way up, because these super-cool reasons will convince you to seize the freeze.
1. Put that coffee away, cold showers are a better pick-me-up.
Early-morning cold showers give you a natural adrenaline boost that’ll leave you energized to take on the day’s work. And if the thought of dousing your body in ice-cold water for 15 minutes straight sends shivers down your spine, fret not! You can just rinse yourself with cold water for a minute or two just before stepping out of the shower.
2. Cold showers > therapist.
Hydrotherapy has had a long history of medical uses, dating back to ancient civilizations. Even Hippocrates himself prescribed baths in spring water for sickness. Immersing oneself in cold water increases blood flow to the brain and ups your supply of the hormone norepinephrine, giving you a natural high. Now you know why swimmers and beach bums are so happy all the time!
3. Get salon-gorgeous hair for next to nothing.
Hot showers may feel really good on your skin, but for your hair? Not so much. Cold water is much more beneficial, as it helps to lock in moisture and prevent split ends, giving you silkier, shinier hair.
4. Improve your blood circulation in seconds.
Professional athletes have popularized the “ice bath” right after grueling workouts, and even though you don’t have to take it that far, you can achieve the same benefits with a blast of cold water right after a long jog. This helps pump blood to your arteries, boosting your heart’s efficiency, and send blood down to your organs to keep them warm, giving them a delicious shot of oxygen that will get them working at optimum levels.
5. Boost your metabolism naturally.
Really low temperatures force your body to re-regulate the body temperature continually, which utilizes many calories. This induces an increased metabolic rate, helping you burn fats faster. Hurrah!
6. Prettier skin will be a pleasant side effect.
Cold water is a fairly effective acne treatment. Washing the face with hot water dries out your skin and opens up your pores, leaving them susceptible to dirt from the environment. The addition of ice-cold water to your beauty regimen tightens your pores, decreasing their chances of being clogged.
7. Relieve sore muscles.
We’re all aware that the first aid treatment to sprained ankles or insect bites is a cold compress. This same principle is true to tired muscles: after an intense workout session, reduce muscle soreness by incorporating a cold shower into your post-exercise routine.
8. Say buh-bye to stress.
Science has actually proven that submerging your body in a cold bath, or standing under a steady stream of chilly water drastically decreases uric acid levels in the body, which is a major contributor to stress.
9. A better alternative to counting sheep.
Growing up, conventional wisdom (aka mom-tuition) dictated that warm baths are the way to get a good night’s sleep. But the stress-relieving after effects of immersing yourself in cold water is scientifically proven to help ward off insomnia and take you to Neverland faster.