Cold showers. They’re so hot right now. (See what I did there?)
Today at Lōzen our question of the day was “would you rather take cold showers for the rest of your life or sleep an hour less than you need and are always tired?”
(Feel free to answer in the comments)
So it got me thinking...people need to know that cold showers are a good thing. For myself, it’s always at the end of my shower. I turn the dial, close my eyes and let it rip!
Many health benefits result from exposure to temperatures far outside of our preferred range of 68-72 degrees.
Let's talk about why it’s important to incorporate cold exposure to your lifestyle...
If your body is always in a state of “non-stress,” it gradually deteriorates in its ability to respond to a “stressor” effectively. Stress doesn’t just have to be uncomfortable temperature. This principle of “stress-encounter” > “stress-response” > “future improved response to stress” is applicable in a variety of situations, ranging from exercise, temperature exposure, high-pressure work environment, public speaking, and the list goes on.
For Example: If you stop exercising and lifting weights (physical stress) your physiological ability to perform and respond during physical stress or to recover from the stress decreases. Expose yourself to the anxiety-inducing experience of public speaking frequently? Ta-da! Your body’s ability to maintain a calm, cool, collected composure is easier after repeated exposure. Do you periodically have big deadlines at work? You’re going to train your body to appropriately respond to chaos and produce excellent work in spite of difficult timelines.
The same holds true with temperature. Many people today spend too much of their time in climate-controlled environments (home/office/car/Globo-gyms). Your body has specific health functions and stress responses that it executes when exposed to temperature extremes (hot and cold). In an effort to maintain a constant state of “comfortable” temperature, we’ve unknowingly decreased our body’s ability to calibrate healthy homeostasis (balance within the body) and allostasis (the processes the body executes to achieve homeostasis).
Health Benefits of Exposure to Cold
Below are some of the health benefits resulting from cold shower routines or concentrated time spent in cold (ocean/ice bath/outdoors, etc.) are vast and include:
• improved hormonal activity (nervous system and metabolic response)
• improved circulation (contrast of vasoconstriction and dilation)
• reduced stress & improved mood (autonomic nervous system response and release of neurotransmitters)
• skin rejuvenation (less oil lost compared to hot water)
• detoxification of the body (changes in vasoconstriction/vasodilation)
• increased metabolism (increased metabolic rate and stimulation of brown adipose tissue)
• improved immune system support (release of white blood cells in response to an increased metabolic rate
So I challenge you to try it! The next time you take a shower at the very end turn on the cold water and slowly you can build up to longer periods of time. Speaking from experience cold water is always going to feel cold. But just like CrossFit the workouts never get “easier” you only get better! So remember you’re doing your body some good and the health benefits are worth it.
Make today great,