Hot Showers Vs Cold Showers



You may believe that taking a steamy shower helps hydrate your skin. But long showers, particularly in hot water, can actually have the opposite effect. Hot water dries out skin and hair, and if it is too hot it can also burn your skin and cause permanent damage. According to Duke University’s School of Medicine, hot waterstrips your skin of its natural moisturizing oilsand can cause it to become irritated and uncomfortable.

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The skin’s most superficial layers, the papillary and reticular layers in the dermis, are the layers with the highest oil concentration. These layers and cells produce oils and fatty substances, which act as a seal that retains moisture in the skin. Studies show that hot showers and baths, as well as cold, dry air, chafing and excessive scrubbing can lead todry skin.
Besides sapping most of the natural oils from the surface of the skin, hot water also depletes water from your skin cells internally (making them less supple), and causes pores to become swollen, leaving skin highly susceptible to damage. The negative effects of hot water are particularly felt during the rainy seasons, as exposing the skin to cold air right after washing with hot water often causesredness and peeling. However, even during the dry seasons this is a bad idea, as the effects of hot water leave your skin more prone to sun damage, as well as makes it easier for dirt to get clogged in pores year-round.
Okay, we are not entirely damning Hot water.. Here’s a few it could do for you:
* Hot showers can relieve tension and soothe stiff muscles. If you have a powerful shower head, even better! Let the hot water work like a mini massage on your shoulders, neck, and back.
*Studies have shown that taking a hot shower can increase your oxytocin levelsand ease anxiety. Anyone working with stress can use more of the love hormone in their life!
*A hot shower also acts as anatural decongestant to relieve cold symptoms, since the hot steam moisturizes nasal passages.
*Under the weather and running a slight fever? A hot shower might be what you need to help break your fever, and bring your temperature back to normal.
Now, even better, what do you stand to gain with a cold water bathe?
1. Better Circulation:

Warm water makes the blood rush to your skin, and cool water makes the blood rush to your organs. This switching between hot and cold triggers better circulation in your blood by forcing the blood to move. The ideal practice would be to switch numerous times between hot and cold water, but merely ending the shower with cold water does help with circulation. Why should you worry about having good circulation? Well, it prevents such problems as hypertension, hardening of the arteries, and the appearance of varicose veins. Good circulation improves the performance of your system and thus help looking and feeling better.

2- Better looking skin:

Warm water showers open up the pores. Then you wash and this cleans up your pores. When you end, it would be best to close your pores and cold water does just that. It’s good to close your pores after you are all cleaned up because it will prevent the pores from being easily clogged by dirt and oil, which causes skin imperfections such as acne for example. Another benefit is that cold water makes your blood vessels constrict which reduces swelling and the appearance of dark circles under your eyes (where skin is at its thinnest). This provides you with a young, healthy glow.

3- Healthier hair:
Cold water makes the hair look healthier and shinier. As a matter of fact, cool air makes your hair shinier too (that’s why there is a cool air button on your hair dryer). What the cold water does is that it closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger and prevents dirt from easily accumulating within your scalp. Basically, the same principle with how it closes the pores of your skin as mentioned above. Stronger hair, of course, prevents hair from being easily pulled out when you are combing, and it helps in slowing down overall hair loss.

4- Mental benefits:
There are plenty of mental benefits to ending your shower with cold water. The ancient samurai warriors used to pour buckets of cold river water on their heads every morning in aShintopractice calledMisogi. This was a purification ritual on a spiritual level. They believe that it cleansed their spirit and helped start a new day & new adventure fresh. Cold water obviously helps waking you up, which is what you want in the morning. Also, it energizes you and invigorates your entire being with the essence of life. Give it a try, you will definitely feel more alive! It can also lift you up if you are feeling a little down or unmotivated.

5. Increases Alertness:
Taking a cold shower in the morning, and feeling cold water pour down over our body seems more horrifying than soothing. However, the deep breathing in response to our body’s shock helps us keep warm, as it’s increases our overall oxygen intake. Thus, our heart rate will also increase, releasing a rush of blood through our entire body. This gives us a natural dose of energy for the day.

6. Improves Immunity and Circulation:

Cold water can improve circulation by encouraging blood to surround our organs, which can then help combat some problems of the skin and heart. As cold water hits the body, it’s ability to get blood circulating leads the arteries to more efficiently pump blood, therefore boosting our overall heart health, according toDr. Joseph Mercola, a natural health expert. It can also lower blood pressure, clear blocked arteries, and improve our immune system.

7. Stimulates Weight Loss:
Cold showers can aid weight loss in an unexpected way. The human body contains two types of fat tissue,white fat and brown fat. White fat is accumulated when we consume more calories than our body needs to function, and we don’t burn these calories for energy. This body fat piles up at our waist, lower back, neck, and thighs, and is the one we all struggle to eliminate. Brown fat is the good fat, which generates heat to keep our bodies warm, and is activated when exposed to extreme cold, according to theJoslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Thus, cold showers can promote brown fat activity.
8. Speeds Up Muscle Soreness and Recovery
We have all seen athletes taking ice baths after training to reduce muscle soreness, but a quick cold shower after breaking a sweat at the gym can be just as effective, especially in relieving delayed-onset muscle soreness. A 2009studyanalyzing 17 trials involved over 360 people who either rested or immersed themselves in cold water after resistance training, cycling, or running. It found that 24-minute cold water baths were effective in relieving sore muscles one to four days after exercises with a water temperature of 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. However, some studies involved colder temperatures.
9. Eases Stress:
Jumping into the shower without letting it heat up, or going into the ocean without slowly acclimating to it, can help promote hardening, increasing tolerance to stress, and even disease. A 1994studyfound a drastic decrease inuric acid levelsduring and following exposure to a cold stimulus. There was also an increase in gluthathione, an antioxidant that keeps all other antioxidants performing at their optimal levels. The participants, who were 10 healthy people who swam regularly in ice-cold water during the winter, adapted to repeated oxidative stress.
10. Relieves Depression:
Cold showers have been shown to relieve depression symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. Thus, it produces an antidepressive effect, and boosts moods, making it a pick-me-up. A 2008studyfound that cold hydrotherapy has an analgesic effect, and does not appear to have noticeable side effects or cause dependence. This treatment included one to two cold showers of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, two to three minutes long, followed by a five-minute gradual adaptation to make the procedure less shocking.
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