The first time is always scary, awkward, and uncomfortable, but something is exciting about it that makes you want more.
Of course, we are talking about ending your showers with cold water.
However, you should be warned that this is a gateway drug to taking straight up cold showers.
If you think I'm kidding, just try it.
All the cool kids are doing it.
Jokes aside, I hope that I have your attention because here are ten benefits of ending your shower with cold water.
When we start jetting cold water at our body, we naturally feel uncomfortable because the water is colder than our body temperature.
There is a reason athletes take ice baths after games and workouts, and it's not for fun. It is because the cold has been proven to be a great asset to aid and speed up recovery.
When your muscles have been working hard, the cold water brings down swelling and inflammation throughout your body.
This allows fresh and more oxygen-rich blood to get to areas that need healing a little faster.
The lymphatic system is responsible for ridding our body of toxins and waste to protect us from infections and diseases. It can be thought of as the body's drainage system.
The lymph fluid that disposes of toxins is not pumped by your heart, but rather the contractions of your muscles.
The lymph fluid cleans up waste liquids in your tissues. A blast of cold water can contract your muscles and help the lymph fluid flow.
To get a nice lymph boost, you can try alternating between hot and cold water to keep the process going.
Making use of icy blasts can be a quick and easy way to support your body in the fight against infection and disease.
Research has proven that bursts of cold water can increase your white blood cell count.
White blood cells can help destroy diseases and viruses in your blood.
Since the cold portion of the shower helps the lymphatic system and increases white blood cells, it gives your immunity a substantial boost.
Depression affects a lot of people, and it's always good to have another tool to help in the battle against the blues.
When cold water hits your body, it signals the brain that something crazy is happening.
This reaction causes endorphins to be released – which are hormones that help you feel good and happy.
A study has shown that at least 5 minutes a day of cold exposure a few times a week can have a dramatic effect on reducing depression.
The cold temperature will help take your mind off your daily problems for at least a few minutes.
Learning how to take cold showers is a fantastic feat and can also help you build emotional resilience.
Once you realize the cold water isn't actually ending your life as it feels, it does get easier.
You can literally train yourself to battle stress as you learn to overcome the discomfort.
This really works as the cold shock releases endorphins, as mentioned before, to help us feel better.
Many experts agree that you should be washing with hot and cold water to get clean.
While hot water can open pores and clean them, it also dries out your skin.
By ending your normal shower with cold water you cool the skin, close the pores, and constrict the blood flow.
This can make your skin look better while helping to reduce any dryness.
Cold water not only helps the skin but also has similar positive effects on the hair. Hot water can be great for its cleansing power once in a while, but it can damage the hair by removing oils that are essential for hair health.
However, cold water can prevent the loss of your natural hair oils and help reduce hair frizz.
Also the cold can close hair cuticles, which strengthens them and helps them retain moisture. So just remember to avoid too hot of water and that washing your hair in cold water does have its benefits.
Your body contains both white fat and brown fat.
White fat is the pesky bad fat, and brown fat is used by the body to generate heat.
When your body feels cold, brown fat can be activated to protect you from the cold, which burns calories.
So adding cold water to your shower routine may not be a bad idea to help a bit with the weight-loss.
Drinking a glass of cold water can also help boost your metabolism and burn calories because your body uses that same fat to heat the water to body temperature for digestion.
If you have already taken a cold shower or have ever just jumped into cold water, you know it wakes you up.
The shock sends your mind into fight or flight mode and causes your nerves to fire electrical impulses.
All of these reactions force the body to make noradrenaline which makes you more alert and aware.
It's as if the cold water transfers its energy straight into, providing you with a caffeine-like punch.
Even though colder water can wake you up, it can also be used to help you fall asleep.
As mentioned previously, cold water fights stress, reduces inflammation, and promotes recovery. All of these things can help us with a better nights sleep.
While an ice-cold bath before bed might not be best, you should consider lowering the water to at least room temperature.
Our circadian rhythm – our internal clock of sorts – is responsible for regulating sleepiness and alertness all the time.
This mild temperature can help our circadian rhythm signal the rest of the body that it is time for bed.
You may think it's as simple as bracing yourself and turning the handle to cold, but not for everyone.
The first time you attempt to do it you may literally feel like your life is ending in that very shower.
You will be swearing and cursing at this article as you'll be sure it has just led you to your imminent death.
It may be better to try to take a full shower at just a slightly uncomfortable temperature first before the full cold.
Another cold shower technique you can try is just trying it a few seconds at a time by alternating from hot to cold water.
You should be able to do this until you can train yourself to handle 5 minutes or more of straight ice-cold water.
Good luck and happy showering!