When we’re feeling gross and sticky from either an extra-hot day out or a HIIT workout sesh, all we want to do is jump in a cold shower. And even though we get a bit squeamish about taking a truly chilly shower, we’re still going to keep turning the water temp down, even as the weather gets colder. It turns out, there are many amazing health and beauty benefits from cold water, beyond just cooling off. If just the thought of a cold shower makes you shiver, here are some of its top incentives that might give you the push you need to finally take the freezing plunge.
1. It wakes you up. Cold showers aren’t just an external shock to your system. While you’re taking all of those “ooooh OMG so cold” deep breaths, you’re also pumping more oxygen into your brain. That could be the best way to start a Monday — or motivate yourself to go out dancing after work on Friday when you’re exhausted from the week.
2. Say hello to shinier hair. Cold water closes your hair cuticles, meaning you retain more moisture. Even if you don’t submerge your whole body in icy water on the reg, rinse your hair in cold water before you step out of the shower.
3. And clearer skin. Hot water might feel good while you’re under it, but it dries out your skin, and can even exacerbate existing conditions like acne or eczema. Cold water won’t strip your skin.
4. It (sort of) counts as a workout. Your body’s reaction to the cold is to try to keep you warm — and the best way to do that is to start burning calories. Hey, if you don’t have time for actual exercise today, it’s better than nothing, right?
5. It’ll help you recover after a (real) workout. You don’t have to take a pro athlete-style ice bath after a tough training session. As long as your workout isn’t, like, running drills against NFL players all day, a nice cold shower is enough to ease your sore muscles.
6. It puts you in a better mood. Cold water reinvigorates your system, and there are theories that the sudden change in temperature helps improve brain function. Some people even take cold showers as a form of therapy for depression or stress, since there’s research that suggests it can balance your serotonin levels.
7. It can keep you from getting sick. Forget what your mom told you about standing in the cold. Cold showers activate your immune system and increase your circulation.
Do you take cold showers on the regular? Let us know @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)