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Some like it hot, some like it cold! What shower temperature is best?

Cold showers energize the senses while hot showers rinse away the day’s dirt and stress.

You probably choose between cold and hot showers based on habits, but there are potential benefits associated with each type. Let’s discover the benefits of both!

Benefits of Cold Showers

It’s not exactly a gentle way to wake up, but numerous proven health benefits of cold showers make it essential for your morning routine!

  • Natural Energizer - Cold water gets your heart beating faster, blood pumping harder, and alerts your nerve endings for a natural energy boost for the day.

  • Protects Skin - Cold water protects your hair and skin from damage. It tightens pores and cuticles as well as the skin and scalp, keeping them less exposed to germs and bacteria.

  • Healthy Hair - Cold water can make hair shinier, stronger and healthier as it stops the hair from being stripped of its natural oils too quickly.

  • Improves Blood Circulation - The shock that the body gets when first being hit by cold water causes the arteries to release a rush of blood into the system, and promotes their ability to pump blood efficiently, keeping the heart healthy.

  • Speeds Up Muscle Recovery - The reason why people take cold showers after exercising or intense physical activity is not just to cool off – it is primarily to reduce muscle soreness.

  • Stress Reduction - It’s been found that showering in cold water increases a person’s willpower and tolerance to stress.

  • Detoxification - Our lymphatic system oversees removing waste from cells. Cold water promotes the lymphatic movement and ensures that the largest amounts of waste are removed, keeping the body clean and healthy.

  • Aids in Weight Loss - Cold water immersion can boost your metabolism. Not only does cold water force your body to work harder to keep you warm – your burning calories in the process!

  • Aids in Fertility - It has been proven that cold showers can give a good boost to testosterone levels in the body.

Cold Shower Tips

A cold shower is considered a showering with water that is roughly about 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 15 °C).

You should start with a very brief cold exposure period, increasing the time gradually as you get accustomed to the feeling of the freezing cold. Start by standing in a comfortably warm shower and then gradually lowering the temp until it’s very cold. Begin with about 1 minute of a cold shower. As you get used to the effects of the cold, increase the time you continuously stay in the cold water, up to 2–3 minutes or even more if you’re capable.

You can also alternate between cold and hot water. You can do this by going back and forth between one minute of very cold water, followed by one minute of recovery in a warm/hot temp, and so on. Complete the cycle about three to seven times. This alternation will help to open up your blood vessels and get blood pumping throughout your body.

Where to aim the water? You can either stand directly under the shower head or direct the water to specific parts of the body and muscles that are inflamed or tight. While standing in the cold water, remember to keep steady deep breaths. To further boost the mental benefits of the shower, you can pause between breaths after exhaling, then take a deep breath in as you count to five. It’s a good idea to finish your shower with warm water in order to make the experience seem enjoyable, which makes it more likely you’ll stick with it.

Benefits of Hot Showers

Who doesn’t love a hot shower or bath? Hot water not only may improve your physical health but is also good for mental health as well!

  • Release Tension - A hot shower can relieve tension and relax stiff muscles. The more powerful the shower head, the better the experience!

  • Calming Effects - Showering in hot water eases anxiety and stress. It has also been proven to increase the levels of oxytocin, the love hormone, in the body.

  • A Natural Decongestant - Hot water produces steam which moisturizes the nasal passages to get rid of mucus and phlegm, acting as a natural decongestant.

  • Cleanses Skin - Steam from hot water opens up skin pores, enabling easier release of impurities (best for short hot showers).

  • Improves Circulation - Hot water eases muscle and joint pains by loosening tissues, while simultaneously promoting blood flow and circulation in the body.

  • Warming Up - Showering with hot water is a great way to warm up in the morning before exercise to get your blood flowing and muscles ready.

  • Natural Relaxant - A hot shower before going to bed helps calm your mind and body, relieving tension.

  • Natural Exfoliator - Hot water cleanses the skin, scraping off dead skin from the skin surface for fresher, cleaner skin.

  • Promotes Weight Loss - Hot water enhances the body’s metabolism, aiding with weight loss.

  • Menstrual Cramps - Having a good hot soak is great for menstrual pain and cramps.

  • Fights Headache - Rather than taking a painkiller, hop into a hot shower instead! It helps improve blood circulation and fight headaches.

Hot Shower Tips

How hot is too hot? There is no set number, but most doctors advise keeping the temperature under 105 degrees (41 degrees Celsius). The best way to judge is to simply pay attention to your skin. If it becomes red, flushed, or feels too hot, the temperature is too high. Get completely wet with a temperature of water that is comfortably warm. Slowly increase the temperature to a tolerable higher heat. Expose all the parts of the body to the hotter water including the top of your head and your face. Shower for approximately 5 minutes then slowly cool down the water to comfortably warm temperature.

Mix It Up!

Combining cold showers with hot showers could offer the benefits of both!

  • Improved circulation – Hot water increases blood flow to the surface of the body and cold water drives blood to the core of the body. This “accordion-like” effect increases blood flow and speeds up circulation and brings fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to organs and glands.

  • Reduces muscle pain – Hot and cold cause your muscles to expand and contract, which can create a gentle detoxification as toxins are squeezed from your muscles.

  • Improves lymphatic flow and reduces lymph nodes – Hot and cold water stimulates the lymphatic system by causing it to relax and contract in response to hot and cold water, respectively. This creates a “pump” action which helps move lymphatic fluid which may have become stagnant in the system. This can reduce build up of fluids and ease inflammation, as well as allowing the immune system to attack any foreign pathogens in the fluid.

Hot and Cold Shower Routine

  1. Get in the shower and get completely wet at a temperature that is completely comfortable for you.

  2. Slowly increase the temperature to a hardly tolerable point. Expose all areas of the body to this hot water, including the top of your head and your face. Do this for a minimum of 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes.

  3. Turn the water down to the coldest tolerable setting and expose all areas of the body to this cold water. Do this for a minimum of 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes.

  4. Repeat this alternating hot and cold exposure 5 times or more, always ending with cold.

At first, your hot and cold tolerance may be minimal, and it is important to honor your extremes in the beginning. However, you should work on building up to hotter and colder temperatures to increase your tolerance and the health benefits of the routine.

Tips for Healthy Showering Skin

Hot or cold shower, moisturize immediately afterwards. Lotion traps moisturize inside the skin, keeping it hydrated. Keep your showers short – no more than 5-10 minutes – to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils. Most importantly, don’t over soap as soap tends to dry out the skin.

Cold & Hot Shower Precautions

While hot and cold showers are generally safe, if you have any sort of medical condition, discuss it with your doctor beforehand.  Since both hot and cold put stress on your heart and cardiovascular system, it may be contraindicated for those with serious heart conditions. Listen to your body and go slowly with your hot and cold tolerance and build up to the full routine, if required.

It’s probably best to avoid very cold or hot showers if you’re dealing with certain health conditions, such as:

  • The flu or a cold

  • Being underweight or having an eating disorder (which can lead to feeling cold anyway)

  • Having a sensitive heart or respiratory issue that causes trouble breathing/gasping for air (speak with your doctor first)

  • Pregnancy

  • Hypothermia (when you’re already cold)

  • Cardiovascular health issues

  • Eczema, psoriasis, acne and dry skin.

Which do you like best, hot or cold? Maybe switching it up will surprise you!




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