Ready to dive in? I know it might suck but cold showers could really be the key to a better life. Research has shown that taking cold showers has many benefits for your overall health. While it might sound crazy, it’s actually not that farfetch. It has both physical and mental benefits - from improving conditions of your skin and hair to teaching you discipline and willpower. Life coaches like Tony Robbins and Wim Hof swear by it. It might be tough to fully submerge yourself in 57-degree pools like Tony or meditate for 2 hours in arctic temperatures without your shirt on like Wim, there’s a method to ease into it that will give you the full benefits. All of the stated benefits below come with routinely practicing the exercise of cold showers.
Increases your circulation
Many people, myself included, need that morning coffee to get things going. A cold shower will shock your body and stimulate blood flow. Surface level vessels will contract and the blood in deeper tissues will start to circulate faster in order for your body to maintain its temperature. This means an increased heart rate and oxygen intake in order to efficiently supply more blood to the rest of your body to supply it with oxygen and nutrients. The shock of that cold water itself is the ultimate wake up call.
Reduces soreness and inflammation
Sore after a long run or a crazy HIIT workout? Have you woken up the day after a new workout and felt even more sore than the previous day? A cold shower can help prevent that. By lowering the temperature of the muscle tissue you just damaged and constricting the blood vessels you’re preventing fluid from swelling those damaged muscles as well as numbing the nerve endings. That's why you see athletes take ice baths after a long game or practice.
Gives your skin and hair a healthy glow
For skincare we use warm water before our face wash to open up the pores so the cleanser can clear our dirt and grime, then follow it with cold water to close the pores back up so dirt can’t get in. Cold showers shrink your pores and tightens your skin, which means less excess oils that lead to breakouts and less greasy hair. Also, cold water doesn’t dry out your sebum layer (that natural oil barrier your body produces to protect the hair and skin) the way warm water does. The result can mean stronger and healthier skin and hair.
Calms Itchy Skin and Eliminates Dandruff
The secret to keeping your head and shoulders flake free is a nice cold shower.
Stronger immune system
Getting your body used to the cold will train your immune system to be stronger in lower temperatures.
It takes time to work up to it
If you’re new to cold showers or cold plunges, take some time to work up to it. Start off with your usual shower routine with warm water. Towards the end of your shower take some deep breaths and start to turn the faucet to lukewarm then to cold. Focus on your breathing and try to stay under the water for 20-60 seconds. It may not be pleasant but once you’re finished you’ll feel good, just have to trust the process.