Health Habit: Cold Showers


Maybe you've been told that a cold shower can wake you up or even help your recovery after a heavy workout. But what has science shown to be as real benefits other than saving hot water?

THE BENEFITS

REDUCES PAIN

- Increases local anesthetic effects

- Increases dopamine concentration (low dopamine is associated with pain syndromes)

- Decreases nerve conduction

- Blocks pain stimuli receptors

- Increases pain tolerance

- Decreases muscle soreness

- Decreases inflammation

IMPROVES CIRCULATION

- Can help lower blood pressure by up to 11%

- Improves blood flow

STIMULATES WEIGHT LOSS

- Increases metabolic rate

- Improves brown fat, aka the good fat, activity (has been shown to potentially help lose up to 9 pounds a year)

DECREASES FATIGUE

- Increases muscle recovery rate

- Decreases lactate concentration after a workout

- Decreases the perception of fatigue

DECREASES STRESS

- Increases tolerance to stress

- Can lower cortisol (stress hormone) by up to 34%

IMPROVES MENTAL STATE

- Increases anti-depressant effects

- Improves mood

- Can have anti-psychotic effects

IMPROVES IMMUNE SYSTEM

- 29% reduction of self-reported sick leave from work

- Increases leukocytes, granulocytes, circulating levels of interleukin (IL)-6, and natural killer cells (all are immune positive stimulating effects)

- Increases both in numbers and activity of peripheral cytotoxic T-lymphocytes and NK cells (the major effectors of adaptive and innate tumor immunity)

IMPROVES HAIR AND SKIN

- Tightens cuticles and pores (this prevents them from getting clogged)

- Prevents the skin from being stripped of its natural oils

INCREASES TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION (IN MEN)

HOW TO START

- Start with your normal shower (usually around 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit)

- Gradually decrease the temperature of the water to decrease the shock

- Ideal cold shower temperature is 50-59 degree Fahrenheit

- 2-3 minutes minimum duration of cold water

More Health Habits

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