Why you should consider taking a cold shower
Are you one of those heroic people that actually are already taking cold showers in the morning?
Well I certainly am not but after reading the article which follows I am actually considering testing it to see how I will feel.
Why a Cold Shower May Be More Beneficial for Health than a Warm One
When you’re stressed or just finished up a hard workout, jumping into a warm shower probably seems only natural. The warm water promotes blood flow to your skin, helping to soothe tired, achy muscles and helping you to relax. However, there may be good reason to turn the faucet to cold when you shower,both after a workout and on an intermittent basis.
Exposure to cold temperatures via cold water and ice baths, otherwise known as cold water immersion or “cryotherapy,” is a popular technique among amateur and professional athletes, but it may offer health-boosting benefits for virtually everyone.
Cold works by lowering the damaged tissue’s temperature and locally constricting blood vessels.vUsing targeted cold therapy, such as an ice pack, immediately after an injury helps prevent bruising and swelling from the waste and fluid build-up.vCold also helps numb nerve endings, providing you with instant, localized pain relief.
On a whole-body scale, immersing yourself in a cold tub of water brings down your heart rate and increases your circulation, minimizing inflammation and helping you recover faster.In fact, cold-water baths appear to be significantly more effective than rest in relieving delayed-onset muscle soreness, which typically occurs one to four days after exercise or other physical activity.
In one study, after analyzing 17 trials involving over 360 people who either rested or immersed themselves in cold water after resistance training, cycling or running, researchers found the cold-water baths were much more effective in relieving sore muscles one to four days after exercise.ivJust how cold does the water need to be?
In this case, most of the studies involved a water temperature of 10-15 degrees C (50-59 degrees F), in which participants stayed for about 24 minutes. Some of the trials involved colder temperatures or “contrast immersion,” which means alternating between cold and warm water.
This study did not show a significant benefit compared to rest for contrast immersion, but some experts do believe that alternating hot and cold water helps drive oxygen and nutrients to your internal organs, while encouraging detoxification. Research also shows it may help reduce pain and speed recovery by decreasing blood lactate concentration.ii