That’s What You Forget to Do Every Morning – We all have our morning routine, right? Alarm goes off, we hit Snooze a few times. Perhaps you work out in the morning, grab a shower, have breakfast and that delicious cup of java. All of our routines probably look pretty similar. But did you know that there’s something you should be doing every morning — that you’re not even thinking about? It has to do with your morning shower!
If you shower at night, you might want to change up your routine for a better start to your day. As your morning shower session is coming to an end, turn on the cold water to finish up. That’s right – a cold shower in the morning is really good for you, and will give you a nice dose of energy to start your day! It’ll really shiver your timbers.
Think about it – a hot shower is relaxing and all, but do you truly want to be that kind of “relaxed” in the morning? It may just make you feel like you want to go back to bed, not go to work or run errands. You may not realize it, but if you’re that relaxed, you might be moving slower, causing a last-minute rush in the morning.
Next thing you know, you don’t have time for breakfast and you’re chugging the coffee,and that might make you jittery. Sounds like a downward spiral for your day, doesn’t it?Hey, I love coffee just as much as the next person, but your cup of morning joe isn’t the only way to get some energy in the morning. A cold shower will give your body a gentle jump start as it wakes you up from that drowsy hot shower.
Your oxygen intake will increase, because you’ll probably be breathing deeply in response to that cold shock, as you turn into a giant goose-pimple, but this extra oxygen will create more alertness. Actress Audrey Hepburn swore by taking cold showers to keep her energy up! This chilly start has actual health benefits too. Fun fact: a cold shower is also known as “The Scottish Shower,” since it can be so cold and drizzly there!
Finishing off a hot shower with a cold one is good for our hair and skin, especially acne-prone skin. When we get into that hot water, the heat and steam open all our pores, making them receptive to whatever products we’re using on our hair and skin. A nice cold rinse will make those pores close tight again, so that the product stays in, and free radicals that might clog the pores of your skin and scalp stay out.
Hot showers may also dry out the skin, since it robs the body and hair of its natural oils. We need these healthy natural oils – so a cold shower will make your skin glow, and your hair will be shinier! A blast of cold water also increases blood flow throughout the body. As we tense up from the cold, our heart will beat faster, really helping that blood to pump and flow, increasing circulation.
This is another way that a cold shower is helpful in the energy department. With all that blood rushing through our veins and arteries, it can also help our organs,as increased oxygen from the blood surrounds them. In short, this means that we’ll have a better, stronger immune system! Natural health experts also say that cold showers lower blood pressure and help clear blocked arteries!
Lymph fluids clean out the cells in the body, making sure that no waste sticks around and makes you sick. A cold shower increases what’s called “lymphatic movement. ”When our muscles contract, as they will from the cold water, they push lymph fluid through your cells. This helps blocked arteries become clear over time, and gives you healthier cells!
Now, this will probably come as a bit of a surprise, but stay with me! Cold showers also promote weight loss! How awesome is that?! We have white fat and brown fat in our body. The white fat is what we get when we eat more potato chips than we should, and this is the fat that we don’t use for energy, so it tends to pile up. Our brown fat is the good fat, like what we get from nuts, and this is what we use for our energy.
Exposure to cold “activates” the brown fat, which will start burning to keep us warm. This, in turn, could help us burn some extra calories! Pretty cool, huh? Have you ever seen an athlete do a really hard workout, and then jump into an ice bath? Maybe you’ve even done this yourself! Cold water helps with muscle recovery and soreness. This method is very popular with track runners, swimmers, and cyclists.
An ice bath or cold shower after a workout will keep the soreness at a minimum. Have you ever put an ice pack on an injury? Same concept! The cold temperature prevents inflammation! In the same way, it’ll help prevent stiffness, too. To be the most effective though, the bath or shower water must be between 50- and 59-degrees Fahrenheit – that’s pretty chilly! A frosty dip will benefit you pre-workout as well; it’ll keep your muscles loose and relaxed.
An icy rinse at the end of your hot shower will also ease stress and depression. If you’re stressed out, and especially if you’re angry, you might get a bit hot and sweaty. A hot shower would feel horrible, right? A cool shower will calm you down as your body adjusts to the temperature; plus, you probably won’t be as focused on what’s stressing you out anymore! And that deep breathing that we mentioned earlier is amazing for stress.
The cold will also boost antioxidant activity in the body, which also reduces stress. Frigid water also zaps all the cold receptors in the skin, sending tons of electrical impulses to the brain, which is a huge mood booster! On a larger scale, hydrotherapy – which is offered in many spas and other similar therapeutic settings – doesn’t have any side effects, so it’s a win-win for the body, and for keeping depression at bay.
Enduring the cold water also produces emotional endurance over time. This means you’ll be able to cope with stress better! And BONUS: A cold shower at night will help you sleep better! When we first feel the water hit us, we might tense up and shiver. But your increased blood flow and circulation will help you to warm up, and your body will acclimate to the cold.
The tension and shivering will take some energy, but afterwards, the body and muscles will eventually relax in a deeper way that we might not feel at first. But once you hit the bed, you’ll get a great night’s sleep, and who doesn’t need more of that in their life?!
Here’s another fun fact: in Sweden, it’s common to let kids take naps outside in the cold weather; studies show that these children were more resistant to disease and sickness,had an increased flow of T “helper” cells, and slept more soundly at night! So try starting and ending your day with a cold shower!
Even though that chilly water sounds cringe-worthy at first, there’s no question that the health benefits outweigh the first pangs of discomfort you might feel! Many parts of your body will work together to handle the cold, and that’s how we get the benefits! It may take some easing into, but your body and mind will surely “warm up” to the idea of a nice refreshing rinse being part of your morning routine, or to end your long and stressful day!
Your body may even start to crave the cold water. Kinda makes you re-think those hot showers in the morning, doesn’t it? But please keep in mind, in order to take advantage of the full benefits of a cold shower,one should be taken every day, regularly, for at least 6 weeks. (But most of the energy benefits should be felt right away!) So hey Frosty.
How about you? Have you ever tried a cold shower or felt any of these benefits from one? If so, let me know down in the comments.