Hot or cold? That is one of the main questions when it comes to showering. Some like it hot, some like it cold. It is so popular that there are two large teams – the hot team and the cold team. The first enjoy the soothing and relaxing streams of hot water, the second like the rejuvenating and invigorating effects of cold water.
So, which is better for showering – hot or cold water? Let’s try to answer this question.
Cold Shower Benefits
Stimulates immune system. Showering with cold water helps fortify the immune system. Cold showers are especially important in autumn, winter, and spring. You might think that it is highly unpleasant to wash with cold water when it is cold outside. Cold showers might seem shocking at the beginning. However, you will get used to it. Besides, it will help you prevent colds.
Increases alertness. Cold water can help you wake up quickly and feel more alert. It sharpens all your senses and makes you more susceptible to information. That is why it is a great idea to take a cold shower before an exam or an important meeting at work.
Stimulates the production of antidepressant hormones. A cold shower is a great way of fighting anxiety, stress, and depression. That is another reason why you should adopt this habit during the cold time of the year when most of us are depressed because of the cold weather and the lack of sunlight. Cold water affects highly sensitive receptors in the skin that send impulses to the brain, producing an anti-depressive effect.
Speeds up metabolism. Cold water proves very useful for increasing your metabolic rate. It is great news for those who are trying to lose weight. Constant exposure to cold water makes your body spend a lot of calories on supporting the body temperature. Don’t overdo it, though, as log showers might have quite the opposite effect. Subjecting your body to cold temperatures for long can actually make it store fat as a protective layer from low temperatures.Frees the mind. If your head is overfilled with contradictory thoughts, a cold shower will help you bring your mind in order. It will clear your mind and find the best solution for your problems. If you cannot sleep because of all the thoughts in your head, try taking a cold shower for a few minutes and finish it by standing under hot water for a minute. Cold water will free your mind and hot water will help you relax.
Tightens the skin. A cold shower is a great way of improving the condition of your skin and fighting early signs of aging. It helps increase the tonus of the skin, makes it tighter, makes its tone much healthier. If you want your skin to look younger and healthier, cold showers can help you with that.
Reduces hair loss. If hair loss is your problem, you should forget about hot showers. Hot water opens the pores and helps loosen air follicles. That is why it is recommended to take a hot water before epilating. If you want to save your hair, you should do quite the opposite. Cold water can help strengthen hair follicles and reduce hair loss.
Hot Shower Benefits
Relaxes muscles. If you suffer from muscle and joint pain, hot showers can be a real lifesaver. It can help you ease the symptoms of arthritis, lower back pain, and other muscle and joint diseases. Heat therapy is a well-known cure for such health conditions. The Arthritis Foundation can offer other methods of natural arthritis treatment.
Relieves headaches. Hydrotherapy can work wonders when it comes to treating headaches. Even a simple hot compress can help a lot. Taking a hot shower, you get even more benefits. It helps ease severe headaches and even migraines. If no medications help you fight your headache, you can try alternative medicine treatments for headaches.
Reduces swelling. Hot water therapy can be a real lifesaver for those who suffer from puffiness, either from general swelling or swelling caused by injuries. If you deal with the consequences of an injury, direct the showerhead on the area that needs your attention. If general swelling is your problem, exposing your whole body to hot water can help a lot.
Reduces anxiety. Hot shower, just like cold, helps fight anxiety and stress. However, the way in which they act is different. While cold water helps use the hidden reserves of our body, hot water helps us relax. A few minutes under hot water, and you will feel much less anxious and ready for your nighttime rest.
Helps release nasal congestion. Hot showers are also good during cold winter months, especially if you suffer from colds. Heat helps ease multiple symptoms of flu and common cold, especially symptoms that affect the respiratory system. Inhaling the heat in the shower, you can soothe nasal congestion and other minor ailments.
Opens the pores and cleanses the skin. Hot water is better than anything for giving your skin a deep cleanse. High temperatures are known to open the clog and remove all the dirt from the deepest layers of skin. Besides, hot water helps draw toxins from your body through the skin. As a result, your skin will look and feel much better.
The Best Solution
As you can see, both hot and cold shower have amazing health benefits. You might wonder if there is a way to combine them? The answer is “yes”. Contrast shower is the best possible solution. It can offer you the advantages of hot and cold shower, and even some extra health benefits.
Alternating hot and cold water is even more beneficial than using them separately. This simple solution can strengthen your whole body by training the circulatory system. When you turn on hot water, your blood vessels expand and blood rushes through them, boosting the processes of detoxification and transporting more oxygen to all the organ systems. When you switch to cold water, your blood vessels contract instantly, decreasing the blood flow.
Such alteration of temperatures creates a pump effect that helps purify the body. One of the main things about contrast showers id that they help drive lactic acid from your body. That is why they are recommended for athletes as a post-workout recovery method.
Contrast showers are a necessity for people who want to improve their general health. If you have been ill, contrast showers will aid the process of recovery by helping you shed toxins, purging your body from viruses, and enhancing your body’s natural defenses.
Hot or Cold – Which is Better for the Planet?
If you care about the environment, then, cold shower is an obvious choice for you. This showering method is much more energy-efficient as no energy will be spent on heating the water. This way, you will not only save the resources of the planet but also cut your utility bills.
Another argument for cold showers from the ecological point of view is that they help conserve water. Showering with cold water is much less pleasant than pampering yourself under the hot streams coming down from the showerhead. So, it is unlikely that you will spend much time in the shower. Meaning, you will not use as much water. The colder it is, the better in terms of water conservation.