April Cold Shower Challenge

My move to a self-hosted website has brought along some delays in writing new posts, including sharing with you this month’s cold shower challenge.

Yes, this girl, who loves summer, sun and soaring temperatures, has voluntarily  committed herself to taking only cold showers!

Why would you do such thing? It turns out taking cold showers is actually really good for you! Here are some of the benefits:

1. Stimulate muscle recovery

Ice baths for athletes are nothing new. Professionals often take them following hard workouts or a race to help their muscles recover faster. While immersing you in ice water may be very beneficial, even taking a cold shower accelerates recovery and prevents sore muscles.

2. Healthy skin and hair

Most people know that hot water dries out the body and hair, so it makes sense to shower with cold water if you want your skin and hair to glow! Cold water tightens cuticles and pores, preventing them from getting clogged, according to this website. It also flattens hair follicles, making your hair look shinier and stronger.

3. Relieve depression

If a healthier skin and hair is not enough for you to take the plunge, studies show that cold showers may also relieve depression. According to a 2008-study, “a cold shower is expected to send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which could result in an anti-depressive effect.”

4. Increase blood circulation

Cold showers help increase blood circulation, which – apart from helping muscles to recover faster – may boost heart health and avoid diseases like high blood pressure and blocked arteries. The increased circulation also appears to give the immune system a boost. Whether this is true I can only tell you in a few months!

5. Burn fat

The way cold showers stimulate fat loss is slightly complicated. It has to do with white fat (a.k.a. the bad fat) and brown fat (a.k.a. the good fat). While the former makes us obese and promotes metabolic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, brown fat keeps us warm. When we are exposed to extreme cold the brown fat gets activated to help us stay warm, burning calories to do so. Thus, we can actually burn fat by taking cold showers.

6. Increase alertness

This point does not need any scientific evidence; don’t we all know how a splash of cold water can energize us early in the morning? So if you have difficulty waking up, a cold shower before heading to work may be all you need to feel energetic and alert all day long. For those who like scientific explanations: the shock your body gets results in an increase in heart rate. The resulting increase in blood circulation gives your entire body an energy boost.

A little confession:

I have been taking cold showers for a little over two months already. However, while it was easy in summer when temperatures soared, now that autumn has made its appearance it is getting a little more daunting, making a cold shower challenge perfect for this month. Let’s see if I can ever get used to it!


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