I tried cold showers for a week, and this is what happened
Cold showers seem to be a huge trend these days. But what’s all the talk about? Do cold showers actually improve your health? Should you leave behind the bliss of taking a hot, steamy shower and incorporate cold showers into your routine?
Like most other people, I am terrified of stepping into a stream of cold water. The comfort of a hot shower is difficult to leave behind. Despite my hesitations, I decided to give cold showers a try for an entire week. Before I tell you the details, here’s a summary of what you should know:
Taking a warm shower is like taking a trip to the spa. They are relaxing, enjoyable, and come with their own set of benefits:
- Taking a warm shower before bed can improve the quality of your sleep.
- A steamy shower can hydrate your sinuses and relieve nasal congestion. This can come in handy if you’re sick or if it’s dry indoors.
- Warm water allows for a deeper clean. This means that you can more effectively remove dirt from your skin.
- During a warm shower, your muscles will relax, and you may experience relief from cramps.
However, keep in mind that the water shouldn’t be too hot. Excessively high temperatures can cause inflammation, strip your skin of its natural oils, and ultimately cause breakouts. If you choose to take a hot shower, make sure that the temperature is lukewarm.
As dreadful as cold showers may seem, here are all the great things they have to offer:
- The low temperature reduces inflammation and calms the skin, which may be helpful if you are prone to acne, have itchy skin, or have sunburn.
- During a cold shower, the blood flow to your skin increases, and circulation throughout your body improves.
- After a workout, immersing yourself in cold water can help reduce muscle inflammation.
- Cold showers can improve alertness by gently “shocking” the body. This can also help you wake up in the morning.
Here’s how things went
After learning about the advantages of cold showers, I decided to ditch hot showers for a full week.
The hardest part was stepping into the shower on the first day. I typically take showers in the morning, when I’ve just emerged from the cozy warmth of my bed. The last thing I want to do is immerse myself in cold water. But alas, I toughed it out. As unpleasant as the first day was, the water wasn’t freezing, it was just kind of cold. Maybe in the summer it would even feel kind of refreshing.
Over the next couple of days, I definitely got used to the feeling. As I mentioned before, a cold shower does not mean that you have to transform your bathroom into the arctic. Any temperature that’s moderately cold does the job. When I take warm showers, I tend to crank up the heat too much. Often, my skin will be visibly red, dry, and irritated. But this week, my skin seemed to be less inflamed. I felt like I also wasn’t stripping away the natural layer of sebum, or oil, from its surface.
As someone who showers first thing in the morning, I felt like I could start my day with more energy. I was fully awake and alert by the time I stepped out. It’s kind of the same thing as splashing your face with cold water, except this time, it’s your whole body.
One helpful strategy was starting my shower with lukewarm water and then transitioning to cold water. This gave my body a bit more time to adjust and allowed the experience to be much more pleasant.
In summary, I thought that cold showers were a lot better than I thought. Even if they’re not my favorite, I felt much more alert, and the low temperature helped soothe my skin. So, will you give cold showers a shot?