Why You Should Be Taking Cold Showers
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I remember reading Katharine Hepburn's autobiography "Me: Stories of My Life," in college. A few things really stuck with me, only one of which I've actually implemented into my own life. She attributed her graceful aging and beautiful skin to taking cold showers. You may be thinking that sounds terrible! But maybe, just maybe, the benefits outweigh the discomfort. Let's see.
Katharine Hepburn's father was a successful doctor who swore by the health benefits of cold showers first thing in the morning. She heeded his advice & continued the practice into her 80s. "Exhilarating!" she called them. But cold showers aren't just a shocking wakeup. They have proven mental, internal, and beautifying benefits that we all could use.
Help Depression & Anxiety
Cold showers are therapeutic in that they release norepinephrine, an adrenal hormone that elevates your mood. Medical professionals sometimes prescribe cold therapy in this way to help patients struggling with depression.
Cleanse the Lymphatic System
Lymph nodes simultaneously bathe our cells in nourishing liquid and cleanse them of toxins and waste. They are directly connected to our cardiovascular and immune systems, but do not have a catalyst of their own to get them flowing. They depend on muscle contraction. Just like with exercise, when you expose your body to drastic cold after being warm, your lymph vessels "dilate" and pump out the lymph fluid and waste from our cells. This is incredibly detoxifying.
Promote Subtle Weight Loss
Cold temperatures - particularly ones that bring right on the verge of shivering, but not quite - stimulate "brown fat." This is a good fat in our bodies that, when activated, helps burn white fat.
They also reduce inflammation, tighten pores, and seal hair follicles for shiny locks.
It's a little hard for me to do it in the winter, but as long as I have warm, cozy pjs to jump into, it's usually worth it. The cold temperature shock makes me feel inexplicably vibrant, awake, and uplifted. It's very energizing! You feel brand new, and let's be honest, pretty tough for sticking it out.
I usually take a very warm shower, but finish off with one or two minutes of freezing cold. As low as it can go usually. My trick is: make sure you remember to take deep breaths (into your stomach, then your chest, and deep breath out). By focusing on your breathing, it almost becomes a peaceful experience & your focus is off the physical feeling of being cold. It just takes some practice. Make sure you get your back, front, and your face. Good luck! Let me know what you think.