Finding the courage to get the experience necessary to write about this topic was perhaps the greatest exercise in self-determination I have ever been through, but I am so excited to share with you what I have learned. I have been interested in the anti-ageing benefits of cold showers and their seemingly endless list of other natural benefits for a long time, though simply understanding the pros was not enough to outweigh the cons. It wasn’t until I realised that you can ease into having cold showers rather than jumping all the way in to the deep end that I began to warm up (excuse the phrase) to the idea and discovered first hand just how impactful a cold shower can be on your mental state and your physiology.
First things first, I’d love to share with you my understanding of and experience of all the anti-ageing benefits a cold shower has for you.
If you are someone who has trouble adjusting to wakefulness each morning, a cold shower may be the solution. Now, willingly putting yourself under cold water first thing in the morning may seem a little terrifying and counterintuitive especially in winter, however our body’s natural response to the shock of a cold shower will make you breathe deeper, increasing oxygen intake which in turn increases blood rate and circulation giving you a natural energy boost. No need for that double shot.
While this hasn’t been 100% proven by science, it’s been theorised by many in the know and I definitely felt it myself. A cold shower has been linked to activating the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for your fight or flight response. This fires off neurotransmitters in your brain that release endorphins. A natural high.
This will be the most notable external change linked directly to anti-ageing. A cold shower each day will help keep your skin radiant which makes it a compelling factor in longevity. Exposing your skin to cold water will help to keep skin taught and helps flush toxins from your skin by increasing blood circulation. The cold water will also more or less close all of your pores during exposure, meaning you take in less of the nasties that our plumbed in water contains. For anti-ageing, this is one of the simplest and most effective ways to take control of your skincare in a very natural way.
Research has shown that taking a cold shower each day can actually help shed weight. This is achieved through the cold water stimulating what is known as brown fat (otherwise known as good fat) which is our body’s way of naturally metabolizing food into body heat, burning calories. While this shouldn’t be substituted for regular exercise, this is a great addition to any weight loss program. A cold shower will also increase metabolic rate directly, though perhaps not enough to affect weight loss.
So now you may be in the same boat I was in. I could see the benefits laid out for me, though I was still hesitant to jump in. This next piece of information will be a saving grace. You don’t absolutely have to have the water cold for the entire duration of the shower. Even if you begin your shower as warm as you usually like it, you can adjust for the last 30 seconds or so and still see the benefits. It’s suggested that you hit roughly 20 degrees Celsius (68F) though, again, you can work way up to this. Even if each day you slowly decrease the temperature until you’re comfortable, you will be working towards a goal and eventually you will hit it. If you’re feeling brave though, why not jump all the way in?
We are discovering (or rediscovering depending on how you look at it) many different ways each and every day to increase our quality of life through little additions and discoveries. A cold shower is an excellent, natural way to shake up the norm and increase your health and wellbeing. Though a cold shower should not be a replacement for your regular health practices, it’s a wonderful inclusion that has helped me greatly and I really hope you can take this practice for yourself and see some of the benefits
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